12/16: Majority of Americans See More Economic Hardships Ahead

When thinking about the future of the U.S. economy, a majority of national adults — 53% — think the worst is yet to come.  However, 39% are more optimistic and report that the worst is behind us.  Eight percent are unsure.  In Marist’s November 29th survey, 51% said the worst was ahead while 45% thought it was behind us.  At that time, 5% were unsure.  The results are similar among registered voters, as well.



Click Here for Complete December 16, 2010 USA Marist Poll Release and Tables

In fact, nearly eight in ten residents — 79% — think the U.S. is in a recession.  However, 19% do not, and 2% are unsure.  Similar proportions held these views in late September when 80% of Americans thought we were in a recession, 18% said we were not, and 2% were unsure.

“The public clearly does not think we’ve turned the economic corner,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Their frustration over financial matters continues.”

Table: U.S. Economy – Will It Get Worse?
Table: U.S. in a Recession

Personal Finances Considered Status Quo By Majority of Americans

A majority of Americans — 52% — believe their personal family finances will stay about the same in the coming year.  Nearly three in ten — 29% — report they expect their family finances to get better in the next twelve months while 19% think they will get worse.

Little has changed since Marist last asked this question in its September 21st survey. Three months ago, 52% believed their family finances would be status quo, 30% thought their personal financial situation would take a turn for the better, and 18% expected it to get worse.

Americans who think the worst of the nation’s economic problems are behind us are more optimistic than are those who believe the worst is yet to come.  Among those who are more positive, 44% expect their family finances to improve.  However, just 18% of those who say the worst of the country’s economic conditions are ahead of us believe their money matters will get better.  In Marist’s previous survey, 39% who thought the worst was over predicted their financial circumstances would improve compared with just 22% who reported the worst was still to come.

Table: Your Personal Finances – Better, Worse, or the Same?

Marist Poll Methodology

The Marist Poll’s Barbara Carvalho discusses how Americans view the economic situation: