Americans think economy won't recover until 2017

June 6, 2014: 3:53 AM ET
american dream poll recover
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

If you're feeling pessimistic about the U.S. economy, you're certainly not alone.

According to economists, the Great Recession ended five years ago, but most Americans still don't feel recovered from the crisis. They expect a full recovery will take until 2017 or longer.

In CNNMoney's American Dream Poll, conducted by ORC International, 61% of Americans said they believe it will take another three years or more to recover from the 2008 financial crisis.

Some respondents were even more pessimistic: 16% said they believe the economy will never recover.

Democrats were generally more optimistic about the economy than Republicans. Among Republicans, 1 in 5 people said they believe the economy will never recover, whereas 1 in 10 Democrats said the same. (Independents were in between the two extremes).

U.S. recovery hits 5-year mark, but long way to go

The results aren't entirely surprising, given the jobs recovery has been the slowest on record, and home prices are nowhere near their pre-recession peak. Most of the income gains over the last few years have gone to the richest 1% of Americans.

Economists surveyed by CNNMoney are slightly less pessimistic than the broader U.S. population, but even they expect a full recovery will take two to three more years.

The economy is showing some signs of recovery. The job market has been on the mend for four years now, albeit slowly, and gross domestic product (GDP) -- the broadest measure of economic output -- is near an all-time high.

american dream poll downturn

So perhaps Americans are overly pessimistic? About 27% said they believe the economy is still in a downturn and conditions are worsening, even though the economic data don't support this claim.

When asked about the likelihood of another financial crisis occurring within the next few years, 24% of Americans said they believe a downturn like the 2008 recession is "very likely" to occur, and 45% said it is "somewhat likely" to occur.

As for economic nostalgia, 26% of respondents said they thought the 1990s provided the best economic conditions for American families, and 20% said they would like to return to the 1980s.

Related: What rebound? 'I got left behind'

Only 3% of Americans believe the economy has fully recovered from the problems it faced in 2008.

Read the full CNN/ORC poll results

CNNMoney's first American Dream Poll comes from telephone interviews with 1,003 adult Americans, conducted by ORC International from May 29 to June 1, 2014. Both landlines and cell phones were included in the sample.

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