While a majority of U.S. adults still believe the nation’s economy is in a recession, the proportion of Americans who have this opinion has been steadily declining since September 2011. In fact, the 54% of residents who currently perceive the country to be in a recession is the lowest proportion of Americans who have held this view since 2008.
POLL MUST BE SOURCED: McClatchy-Marist Poll*
“Americans are slowly but surely improving their economic outlook,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “But, as President Obama plans to refocus his second term agenda on the economy, he will find concerns over financial matters are still very much on people’s minds.”
Although a majority of Americans think the nation is still in a recession, 38% believe it is not. Eight percent are unsure. When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question in March, 63% thought the nation was still under the cloud of recession, 33% believed the economic skies had cleared for the nation, and 4% were unsure.
Not surprisingly, income matters. Americans who earn less are more likely to think the nation is in a recession. 61% of those who earn less than $50,000 a year say the recession is still underway. This compares with 47% whose annual salary is $50,000 or more.
Guarded Optimism about Personal Finances
A majority of Americans — 52% — think, in the coming year, their personal family finances will be about the same as they are now. 29% say they will be better while 19% report they will be worse. When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question in March, a plurality of residents — 48% — said their family finances would be steady state. More than one in four — 26% — had confidence that their personal money matters would improve. The same proportion — 26% — thought they would decline.
Do Americans believe they will be economically better off in the next year? Nearly three in ten — 29% — say they will be. 32% report they will be worse off, and 39% think they will be in about the same economic position. In March, 25% of U.S. adults said they would be better off in the coming year. 36% believed they would be worse off, and 40% reported that their economic situation would be status quo.