Recession near, or already here
Most of the 1,000 Americans surveyed by Fortune Magazine have a dim economic outlook.
Q1. How important is the following issue to you?
A) The nation's economy
  1. Extremely important 46%
  2. Very important 41%
  3. somewhat important 12%
  4. not too important 1%
  5. not at all important 1%
  6. No Answer/ Don't Know *
How important is the following issue to you?
B) The situation in Iraq
  1. extremely important 42%
  2. very important 42%
  3. somewhat important 12%
  4. not too important 2%
  5. not at all important 2%
  6. No Answer/ Don't Know 1%
How important is the following issue to you?
C) Immigration
  1. extremely important 27%
  2. very important 33%
  3. somewhat important 26%
  4. not too important 10%
  5. not at all important 4%
  6. No Answer/ Don't Know 1%
How important is the following issue to you?
D) Global warming
  1. extremely important 20%
  2. very important 28%
  3. somewhat important 27%
  4. not too important 11%
  5. not at all important 12%
  6. No Answer/ Don't Know 2%
How important is the following issue to you?
E) Abortion
  1. extremely important 20%
  2. very important 25%
  3. somewhat important 25%
  4. not too important 12%
  5. not at all important 14%
  6. No Answer/ Don't Know 3%
How important is the following issue to you?
F) Terrorism
  1. extremely important 41%
  2. very important 37%
  3. somewhat important 15%
  4. not too important 4%
  5. not at all important 2%
  6. No Answer/ Don't Know *
How important is the following issue to you?
G) Healthcare
  1. extremely important 44%
  2. very important 37%
  3. somewhat important 14%
  4. not too important 3%
  5. not at all important 2%
  6. No Answer/ Don't Know *
How important is the following issue to you?
H) Education
  1. extremely important 39%
  2. very important 41%
  3. somewhat important 15%
  4. not too important 3%
  5. not at all important 2%
  6. No Answer/ Don't Know 1%
How important is the following issue to you?
I) U.S. trade with foreign nations
  1. extremely important 18%
  2. very important 34%
  3. somewhat important 35%
  4. not too important 7%
  5. not at all important 4%
  6. No Answer/ Don't Know 2%
How important is the following issue to you?
J) Taxes
  1. extremely important 32%
  2. very important 39%
  3. somewhat important 21%
  4. not too important 5%
  5. not at all important 2%
  6. No Answer/ Don't Know 1%
How important is the following issue to you?
K) Social Security
  1. extremely important 35%
  2. very important 36%
  3. somewhat important 23%
  4. not too important 4%
  5. not at all important 2%
  6. No Answer/ Don't Know *
Q2. Turning to the economy, in general, how would you rate economic conditions in the country today?
  1. excellent 3%
  2. good 23%
  3. only fair 44%
  4. poor 29%
  5. No Answer/ Don't Know 1%
Q3. Right now, do you think that economic conditions in the country as a whole are getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
  1. better 3%
  2. worse 65%
  3. same 31%
  4. No Answer/ Don't Know *
Q4. Which of the following best describes the country's economic condition right now?
  1. In an economic recession right now 19%
  2. Heading into a recession in the next 12 months 57%
  3. Not in a recession and not heading into one 19%
  4. No Answer/ Don't Know 5%
Q4a. Many economists, but not all, believe the U.S. economy is slowing down. Here are some reasons that some say are responsible for the slower economy. Tell me which in your view is the most important reason for the slowdown?
  1. U.S. companies sending jobs to countries where labor is cheaper28%
  2. Higher prices at the gas pump and for other energy 28%
  3. The slowdown in the housing market and problems people are having in paying their mortgages 24%
  4. The economic competition that the U.S. is facing from foreign countries 8%
  5. Just the usual business cycle, where the economy naturally goes up and down 7%
  6. Other 3%
  7. Economy not slowing down *
  8. No Answer/ Don't Know 2%
Q4a2. Which one is second most important?
  1. Higher prices at the gas pump and for other energy28%
  2. The slowdown in the housing market and problems people are having in paying their mortgages23%
  3. U.S. companies sending jobs to countries where labor is cheaper 21%
  4. The economic competition that the U.S. is facing from foreign countries 14%
  5. Just the usual business cycle, where the economy naturally goes up and down 10%
  6. Other 2%
  7. No Answer/ Don't Know 3%
Q5. Just thinking about your own personal economic situation, do you feel that over the past 12 months things have gotten better, worse, or stayed about the same?
  1. Better 15%
  2. Worse 38%
  3. Same47%
  4. No Answer/ Don't Know *
Q6. Would you say that you have been able to keep up with your credit card payments and not fall behind?
  1. Have been able to 71%
  2. Have not been able to 15%
  3. No Answer/ Don't Know 14%
Q6a. Would you say that you have been able to keep up with your other payments, such as mortgage, rent or loans?
  1. Have been able to 87%
  2. Have not been able to 9%
  3. No Answer/ Don't Know 4%
Q7. In the past 12 months, have you been spending about as much as you did before on most things, spending more, or cutting back your spending compared to 12 months ago?
  1. Spending as much as before24%
  2. Spending more 28%
  3. Cutting back 48%
  4. No Answer/ Don't Know *
Q8. Are you currently employed full-time outside the home, part-time, unemployed but looking for work, not employed outside the home and not looking for work, a full-time student, or retired?
  1. Employed full-time 52%
  2. Employed part-time 10%
  3. Unemployed but looking for work6%
  4. Not employed and not looking 6%
  5. Full-time student 4%
  6. Retired 21%
  7. No Answer/ Don't Know 1%
Q9. In the next 12 months or so, are you very worried about losing your job, somewhat worried, or not worried at all?
Base: Employed (563)
  1. very worried 8%
  2. somewhat worried 18%
  3. not worried 73%
  4. No Answer/ Don't Know 1%
Q10. Here are some proposals to help the economy. For each one, please tell me whether you favor or oppose it.
A) Tax cuts just for low and middle income people
  1. favor 76%
  2. oppose 21%
  3. No Answer/ Don't Know 2%
Here are some proposals to help the economy. For each one, please tell me whether you favor or oppose it.
B) Tax cuts for business
  1. favor 51%
  2. oppose 44%
  3. No Answer/ Don't Know 6%
Here are some proposals to help the economy. For each one, please tell me whether you favor or oppose it.
C) Expanding unemployment benefits and providing additional weeks of benefits
  1. favor 55%
  2. oppose 41%
  3. No Answer/ Don't Know 4%
Here are some proposals to help the economy. For each one, please tell me whether you favor or oppose it.
D) Helping people who can't afford their mortgages by suspending foreclosures on houses until the economy gets better
  1. favor 55%
  2. oppose 39%
  3. No Answer/ Don't Know 6%
Here are some proposals to help the economy. For each one, please tell me whether you favor or oppose it.
E) Limiting rate increases on adjustable rate mortgages to keep them more affordable
  1. favor 75%
  2. oppose 21%
  3. No Answer/ Don't Know 3%
Here are some proposals to help the economy. For each one, please tell me whether you favor or oppose it.
F) Increasing government spending on things like public-works projects to help create jobs
  1. favor 67%
  2. oppose 31%
  3. No Answer/ Don't Know 3%
Here are some proposals to help the economy. For each one, please tell me whether you favor or oppose it.
G) Extend the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003
  1. favor 53%
  2. oppose 37%
  3. No Answer/ Don't Know 10%
Q10a. Regardless of which political party you support, which party would do a better job of keeping the economy healthy?
  1. democrats 45%
  2. republicans 35%
  3. neither 9%
  4. both/same 2%
  5. No Answer/ Don't Know 8%
Q11. On another topic, compared to most other issues in the news, how closely do you follow news about United States trade with foreign countries?
  1. Very closely 19%
  2. Somewhat closely 48%
  3. Not very closely 23%
  4. Not at all 10%
  5. No Answer/ Don't Know *
Q12. Overall, who do you believe benefits more from international trade - the United States or countries that trade with the United States ?
  1. United States 23%
  2. Other countries that trade with the United States 68%
  3. Both benefit equally 4%
  4. No Answer/ Don't Know 5%
Q13. As you may know, international trade has increased a great deal in recent years. Do you think that the growth in international trade has made things better or made things worse for...?
1) For the United States as a whole
  1. Made things better 28%
  2. Made things worse 63%
  3. Depends/neither 4%
  4. No Answer/ Don't Know 5%
As you may know, international trade has increased a great deal in recent years. Do you think that the growth in international trade has made things better or made things worse for...?
2) For you personally
  1. Made things better 34%
  2. Made things worse 38%
  3. Depends/neither 19%
  4. No Answer/ Don't Know 8%
As you may know, international trade has increased a great deal in recent years. Do you think that the growth in international trade has made things better or made things worse for...?
3) For American workers
  1. Made things better 15%
  2. Made things worse 78%
  3. Depends/neither 3%
  4. No Answer/ Don't Know 4%
As you may know, international trade has increased a great deal in recent years. Do you think that the growth in international trade has made things better or made things worse for...?
4) For American business
  1. Made things better 37%
  2. Made things worse 55%
  3. Depends/neither 3%
  4. No Answer/ Don't Know 5%
As you may know, international trade has increased a great deal in recent years. Do you think that the growth in international trade has made things better or made things worse for...?
5) For consumers in the U.S.
  1. Made things better 48%
  2. Made things worse 44%
  3. Depends/neither 4%
  4. No Answer/ Don't Know 4%
Q14. Which of the following two statements comes closest to your own position?
  1. International trade is good for the U.S. because it leads to lower prices for consumers 30%
  2. International trade is bad for the U.S. because it results in the loss of jobs and lower wages 63%
  3. Both equally/neither 6%
  4. No Answer/ Don't Know 2%
Q15. How good a job has the U.S. government done to help workers who have lost their jobs because of cheap foreign wages and increased competition? Would you say the government has done enough, too much, or not enough to help these workers?
  1. enough 15%
  2. too much 3%
  3. not enough 79%
  4. No Answer/ Don't Know 4%
Q16. Here are some measures that have been proposed to help workers who have lost their jobs to foreign competition and outsourcing of jobs overseas. For each one, please tell me whether you strongly favor this measure, favor it somewhat, oppose it somewhat or oppose it strongly?
1) Give these workers longer-term unemployment benefits than they now get
  1. favor strongly 32%
  2. favor somewhat 31%
  3. oppose somewhat 21%
  4. oppose strongly 13%
  5. No Answer/ Don't Know 3%
Here are some measures that have been proposed to help workers who have lost their jobs to foreign competition and outsourcing of jobs overseas. For each one, please tell me whether you strongly favor this measure, favor it somewhat, oppose it somewhat or oppose it strongly?
2) Provide special training programs for them to find new kinds of work
  1. favor strongly 63%
  2. favor somewhat 27%
  3. oppose somewhat 5%
  4. oppose strongly 4%
  5. No Answer/ Don't Know 1%
Here are some measures that have been proposed to help workers who have lost their jobs to foreign competition and outsourcing of jobs overseas. For each one, please tell me whether you strongly favor this measure, favor it somewhat, oppose it somewhat or oppose it strongly?
3) Allow imports only from countries that ban child labor
  1. favor strongly 67%
  2. favor somewhat 15%
  3. oppose somewhat 6%
  4. oppose strongly 10%
  5. No Answer/ Don't Know 2%
Here are some measures that have been proposed to help workers who have lost their jobs to foreign competition and outsourcing of jobs overseas. For each one, please tell me whether you strongly favor this measure, favor it somewhat, oppose it somewhat or oppose it strongly?
4) Allow imports only from countries that meet certain clean air and water standards
  1. favor strongly 46%
  2. favor somewhat 32%
  3. oppose somewhat 12%
  4. oppose strongly 7%
  5. No Answer/ Don't Know 3%
Here are some measures that have been proposed to help workers who have lost their jobs to foreign competition and outsourcing of jobs overseas. For each one, please tell me whether you strongly favor this measure, favor it somewhat, oppose it somewhat or oppose it strongly?
5) Provide tax incentives for companies to relocate to areas where workers have lost their jobs because of foreign imports
  1. favor strongly 51%
  2. favor somewhat 33%
  3. oppose somewhat 8%
  4. oppose strongly 6%
  5. No Answer/ Don't Know 2%
Here are some measures that have been proposed to help workers who have lost their jobs to foreign competition and outsourcing of jobs overseas. For each one, please tell me whether you strongly favor this measure, favor it somewhat, oppose it somewhat or oppose it strongly?
6) Allow imports only from countries that allow unions to organize their workers
  1. favor strongly 23%
  2. favor somewhat 28%
  3. oppose somewhat 23%
  4. oppose strongly 22%
  5. No Answer/ Don't Know 5%
Here are some measures that have been proposed to help workers who have lost their jobs to foreign competition and outsourcing of jobs overseas. For each one, please tell me whether you strongly favor this measure, favor it somewhat, oppose it somewhat or oppose it strongly?
7) Provide government subsidies to companies facing low-priced foreign competition so that they could compete
  1. favor strongly 24%
  2. favor somewhat 35%
  3. oppose somewhat 21%
  4. oppose strongly 16%
  5. No Answer/ Don't Know 4%
Here are some measures that have been proposed to help workers who have lost their jobs to foreign competition and outsourcing of jobs overseas. For each one, please tell me whether you strongly favor this measure, favor it somewhat, oppose it somewhat or oppose it strongly?
8) Place high tariffs on goods coming from countries that produce low-priced goods so that American companies can compete with them
  1. favor strongly 29%
  2. favor somewhat 32%
  3. oppose somewhat 19%
  4. oppose strongly 15%
  5. No Answer/ Don't Know 5%
Q17. If the prices of many of the products you buy would go up as a result of some of these measures, would you be willing or not willing to pay higher prices to keep down foreign competition?
  1. willing 64%
  2. not willing 30%
  3. depends 5%
  4. No Answer/ Don't Know 2%
Q18. How concerned are you that you could lose your job or not get a job you want because of outsourcing to a foreign country or because of foreign competition?
Base: Employed (400)
  1. extremely concerned 13%
  2. very concerned 9%
  3. somewhat concerned 15%
  4. not very concerned 18%
  5. not at all concerned 44%
  6. No Answer/ Don't Know *
Q20. The United States currently buys from foreign countries more than it sells to those countries. How concerned are you about each of the following?
A) Investors in foreign countries now control or have an economic stake in many U.S. companies
  1. extremely concerned 32%
  2. very concerned 26%
  3. somewhat concerned 27%
  4. not very concerned 8%
  5. not at all concerned 6%
  6. No Answer/ Don't Know 1%
The United States currently buys from foreign countries more than it sells to those countries. How concerned are you about each of the following?
B) The U.S. has often not been able to check the safety of products coming in from other countries
  1. extremely concerned 45%
  2. very concerned 32%
  3. somewhat concerned 19%
  4. not very concerned 2%
  5. not at all concerned 1%
  6. No Answer/ Don't Know 1%
The United States currently buys from foreign countries more than it sells to those countries. How concerned are you about each of the following?
C) The U.S. is losing manufacturing and other jobs to less expensive foreign competitors
  1. extremely concerned 36%
  2. very concerned 30%
  3. somewhat concerned 25%
  4. not very concerned 6%
  5. not at all concerned 2%
  6. No Answer/ Don't Know 1%
The United States currently buys from foreign countries more than it sells to those countries. How concerned are you about each of the following?
D) U.S. workers are losing jobs that are outsourced to lower-paid workers in other countries
  1. extremely concerned 37%
  2. very concerned 31%
  3. somewhat concerned 24%
  4. not very concerned 5%
  5. not at all concerned 2%
  6. No Answer/ Don't Know *
The United States currently buys from foreign countries more than it sells to those countries. How concerned are you about each of the following?
E) The U.S. is becoming increasingly dependent on foreign countries that may be hostile to the U.S.
  1. extremely concerned 45%
  2. very concerned 33%
  3. somewhat concerned 15%
  4. not very concerned 4%
  5. not at all concerned 2%
  6. No Answer/ Don't Know 1%
Q21. Here are some places which export many products to the U.S. for each one, please tell me whether you are more likely to purchase a product manufactured in this area, less likely, or doesn't it matter to you in your purchase decision?
1) Japan
  1. more likely 27%
  2. less likely 25%
  3. doesn't matter 47%
  4. Depends 1%
  5. No Answer/ Not Sure *
Here are some places which export many products to the U.S. for each one, please tell me whether you are more likely to purchase a product manufactured in this area, less likely, or doesn't it matter to you in your purchase decision?
2) South Korea
  1. more likely 14%
  2. less likely 39%
  3. doesn't matter 46%
  4. Depends 1%
  5. No Answer/ Not Sure 1%
Here are some places which export many products to the U.S. for each one, please tell me whether you are more likely to purchase a product manufactured in this area, less likely, or doesn't it matter to you in your purchase decision?
3) Western Europe
  1. more likely 26%
  2. less likely 17%
  3. doesn't matter 55%
  4. Depends 1%
  5. No Answer/ Not Sure 1%
Here are some places which export many products to the U.S. for each one, please tell me whether you are more likely to purchase a product manufactured in this area, less likely, or doesn't it matter to you in your purchase decision?
4) Eastern Europe
  1. more likely 18%
  2. less likely 23%
  3. doesn't matter 57%
  4. Depends 1%
  5. No Answer/ Not Sure 1%
Here are some places which export many products to the U.S. for each one, please tell me whether you are more likely to purchase a product manufactured in this area, less likely, or doesn't it matter to you in your purchase decision?
5) Africa
  1. more likely 17%
  2. less likely 28%
  3. doesn't matter 51%
  4. Depends 2%
  5. No Answer/ Not Sure 2%
Here are some places which export many products to the U.S. for each one, please tell me whether you are more likely to purchase a product manufactured in this area, less likely, or doesn't it matter to you in your purchase decision?
6) India
  1. more likely 11%
  2. less likely 35%
  3. doesn't matter 52%
  4. Depends 1%
  5. No Answer/ Not Sure 1%
Here are some places which export many products to the U.S. for each one, please tell me whether you are more likely to purchase a product manufactured in this area, less likely, or doesn't it matter to you in your purchase decision?
7) China
  1. more likely 11%
  2. less likely 57%
  3. doesn't matter 30%
  4. Depends 1%
  5. No Answer/ Not Sure 1%
Here are some places which export many products to the U.S. for each one, please tell me whether you are more likely to purchase a product manufactured in this area, less likely, or doesn't it matter to you in your purchase decision?
8) Mexico
  1. more likely 15%
  2. less likely 36%
  3. doesn't matter 48%
  4. Depends 1%
  5. No Answer/ Not Sure *
Here are some places which export many products to the U.S. for each one, please tell me whether you are more likely to purchase a product manufactured in this area, less likely, or doesn't it matter to you in your purchase decision?
9) Canada
  1. more likely 37%
  2. less likely 9%
  3. doesn't matter 53%
  4. Depends 1%
  5. No Answer/ Not Sure *
Q22. In recent years, the United States has created so-called free trade zones, such as NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, which eliminated or is phasing out most tariffs on goods coming from countries involved in the agreement. Overall, do you think that these trade agreements generally help the U.S. economy, hurt it, or don't have much impact overall?
  1. help 24%
  2. hurt 41%
  3. not much impact overall 27%
  4. No Answer/ Don't Know 9%
Q23. Does economic development in foreign countries make the United States more secure, less secure, or doesn't have much impact on our security?
  1. more secure 31%
  2. less secure 37%
  3. not much impact 25%
  4. No Answer/ Don't Know 6%
Q24. Regardless of how you might vote, which party, the Democrats or the Republicans, comes closest to your position on foreign trade issues?
  1. Democrats 44%
  2. republicans 35%
  3. both 1%
  4. neither 7%
  5. No Answer/ Don't Know 12%
Q25. If you were voting for president, as things stand now, would you be more likely to vote for the Democratic nominee for president or the Republican nominee?
  1. democratic nominee 50%
  2. republican nominee 36%
  3. other party 2%
  4. No Answer/Undecided/Don't Know13%
A. Gender
  1. male 48%
  2. female 52%
F1. What is your age?
  1. 18-24 8%
  2. 25-29 9%
  3. 30-34 10%
  4. 35-39 10%
  5. 40-44 8%
  6. 45-54 22%
  7. 55-64 15%
  8. 65 or older 18%
  9. No Answer/ Don't Know 1%
F2. What is the highest grade of schooling that you've completed?
  1. 8th grade or less 1%
  2. some high school 6%
  3. high school graduate 24%
  4. some college 26%
  5. college graduate 27%
  6. postgraduate study/law or medical school 15%
  7. No Answer/ Don't Know *
F3. Are you of Hispanic origin or descent?
  1. yes 9%
  2. No 90%
  3. No Answer/ Don't Know 1%
F4. What is your race?
  1. white 75%
  2. black 11%
  3. asian 2%
  4. hispanic 5%
  5. other 6%
  6. No Answer/ Don't Know 1%
F5. Generally speaking, do you usually think of yourself as a Republican, a Democrat, an independent or something else?
  1. a republican 33%
  2. a democrat 36%
  3. an independent 21%
  4. something else 6%
  5. No Answer/ Don't Know 4%
F6. Do you lean more toward the Republican party or more toward the Democratic party?
Base: Independents (209)
  1. Lean Republican 32%
  2. Lean Democrat 40%
  3. Don't lean to either party 24%
  4. No Answer/ Don't Know 5%
F7. Do you consider yourself a liberal, conservative, or somewhere in the middle?
  1. liberal 15%
  2. conservative 26%
  3. middle 56%
  4. No Answer/ Don't Know 2%
F8. Finally, just for classification purposes, was your total family income before taxes last year...?
  1. less than $20,000 11%
  2. $20,000 to just under $35,000 15%
  3. $35,000 to just under $50,000 14%
  4. $50,000 to just under $75,000 18%
  5. $75,000 to just under $100,000 15%
  6. $100,000 to just under $150,000 11%
  7. $150,000 or more 8%
  8. No Answer/ Don't Know 8%
Methodology
This Fortune Magazine poll was conducted by telephone January 14 - January 16, 2008 among a random sample of 1,000 adults throughout America. The margin of error for the entire sample is approximately +/- 3 percentage points. The margin of error is higher for subgroups, for example, the margin of error for Democratic voters and Republican voters is approximately +/- 4 percentage points. Surveys are subject to other error sources as well, including sampling coverage error, recording error, and respondent error.

Abt SRBI public affairs designed the survey and conducted all interviewing
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.15 0.00 0.00%
Facebook Inc 58.94 0.00 0.00%
General Electric Co 26.56 0.00 0.00%
Cisco Systems Inc 23.21 0.00 0.00%
Micron Technology In... 23.91 0.00 0.00%
Data as of Apr 17
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
Nasdaq 4,095.52 9.29 0.23%
S&P 500 1,864.85 2.54 0.14%
Treasuries 2.72 0.08 3.19%
Data as of 9:07pm ET
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