U.S. view of economy is getting worse - poll

Three out of four Americans believe the economy is in bad shape, CNN/Opinion Research Poll shows.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer

Are you better off than you were seven years ago during the last economic downturn?
  • Yes
  • No
  • About the same

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Americans' opinions on the health of the economy have worsened significantly over the last year, according to the results of a CNN poll released Monday.

Seventy-five percent of participants in a national CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll believe the U.S. economy is in bad shape, compared to just 43% of respondents who shared that view a year ago.

In a poll conducted Aug. 23-24, 43% of those surveyed rated the current economic conditions as "very poor," while 32% rated it as "somewhat poor." Only 21% rated the economy as "somewhat good" and a mere 4% said it was "very good."

The findings are based on 497 interviews and have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Around this time last year, Americans had a significantly less dire view of the economy. A poll taken Aug. 6-8, 2007 found that 17% rated economic conditions as "very poor," while 26% rated it "somewhat poor." Furthermore, 45% rated the economy as "somewhat good," while 11% said it was "very good."

The worsening economy has become a central issue for voters as they size up the presidential candidates. The economy has been hammered in the last year by the mortgage meltdown, deepening credit crisis, soaring inflation and ongoing job losses.

"I'd be shocked if they felt any differently," David Wyss, chief economist for Standard & Poor's, said when asked about the change in perceptions of the economy.

Wyss said that sky-high gas prices are the biggest factor in bringing down the economy for the average consumer. Retail gas prices have ticked lower in the last month to $3.681 a gallon average nationwide, according to motorist group AAA. But that's still nearly 34% higher than a year ago.

Wyss said he expects the economy to get worse before it gets better, particularly when it comes to jobs. So far this year, the economy has lost 463,000 jobs, according to the Labor Department.

"I don't even think we've seen the worse of it," said Wyss, who doesn't see any evidence of an imminent upturn. "I think we'll lose another half million [jobs], and possibly another million."

Lakshman Achuthan, managing director for the Economic Cycle Research Institute, said inflation and the shrinking job market have had the biggest impact on how Americans view the economy.

"[The] bad news is that there is no end to recession in sight," said Achuthan, in an email to CNNMoney.com. "[The] silver-lining is that recession kills inflation so that part of the pain should ease a bit."  To top of page

Features
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
The 13 most WTF gadgets From the weird to the gross, these 13 gadgets will make you wonder why they even exist. More
Best-loved cars in America These cars and trucks topped J.D. Power's APEAL survey, which measures how much owners like their new vehicles. More
America's most powerful cars A new 'horsepower war' has erupted among U.S. automakers and these are the most potent weapons in their arsenals. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.