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More Americans call recession 'serious'

Poll finds four in 10 believe the economy is worsening, but fewer believe depression is likely within next 12 months.

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By Lara Moscrip, CNNMoney.com contributing writer

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- More than four out of 10 Americans say the economy is in a serious recession, a belief that has grown stronger within the past few weeks, according to a poll released Thursday.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll of 1,096 Americans conducted earlier this week found the percentage of people who believe the economy is in a serious recession has grown to 42% from 32% in mid-October.

Overall, 89% of those polled believe the nation is in some form of recession - serious, moderate or mild. That's up from 76% in mid-October, a few weeks before the election.

On Monday, the first of the two days in which the survey was conducted, private economists making up the National Bureau of Economic Research stated the economy has been in recession since December 2007. Only 10% of those polled said the nation is not in recession.

During the time between the October and December polls, the effects of the financial crisis and the housing slump have intensified, as employers slashed jobs and consumers cut spending.

Despite the fact that people polled believe the recession is worsening, fewer believe that a depression on a scale of the 1930s is imminent, with the percentage declining to 38% from 41% in mid-October.

The poll found a slight decline in the percentage of Americans who believe things in the nation are going badly, to 79% from 83% just after the election.

The margin of sampling error for results based on the total sample is plus or minus three percentage points.  To top of page

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