Economy Still in a Recession 75% of U.S. Says

Filed under: News,The Economy |

Although it officially ended in 2009, 75% of the U.S. population says the economy is still in a recession and 60% don’t think the economy will improve soon, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Still in a recession: Confidence in the economy has implications for the 2012 presidential election.
Confidence in the economy has implications for the 2012 presidential election.

American’s are the least optimistic about the future than they have been in 20 years, according to Gallup. In 1991-1992, About 80% if Americans in 1991-1992 also thought the nation was in a recession and during part of 1991 it was. By late 1993, less than half of those surveyed thought the U.S. was in a recession. By 1994, only about a third thought so.

Gallup has asked Americans to predict the course of the economy a year ahead in the late summer or early fall of 2009, 2010, and 2011. Americans were generally optimistic about improvement in 2009 — with 65% believing the economy would be better, if not fully recovered, a year out. Each succeeding year, Americans have become less likely to expect conditions to improve, with 37% in 2011 believing the economy will be better a year from now.

Gallup sees the survey results as biased by politics. Democrats, 59%, were more likely to believe the economy will improve in the next year, compared with 28% of Republicans and 27% of independents. More Republicans and independents expect the economy is likely to remain the same in the next year than it is to get worse, the poll found.

A decline in optimism was seen across the political spectrum in each of the last three years. In 2009, at least half of all three party groups thought the economy would improve in the next 12 months.

The lack of consistent economic progress since 2009 has dashed Americans’ optimism that things will get better in the near future. Slightly more than one third of Americans expect the economy to improve in the next 12 months.

With the economy and unemployment on top of Americans’ list of the most important problem facing the country, both the health of the overall economy and perceptions of its health have implications for President Obama as he runs for re-election. His jobs plan, which Americans generally support, must move the needle on official economic statistics and re-instill confidence that the economy is improving.

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