More than one out of every five Americans — 22% – helped make Black Friday a success, with record purchases marking the start of the holiday shopping season. But that shopping frenzy didn’t change the public mood all that much. Despite a small uptick in the nation’s assessment of where the economy is headed, the latest Economist/YouGov Poll finds just 15% seeing the nation’s economy as getting better.
What has changed is the level of pessimism: this week 39% say the economy is getting worse, a decline of ten points from last week’s 49%.
The direction of the economy has been seen as getting worse since the beginning of Barack Obama’s Presidency. Perceptions are much better today than they were in February 2009. Then, 69% said the economy was getting worse, and only 4% thought it was improving.
Opinions were significantly more hopeful at the start of 2011. In January, one in four Americans said the economy was getting better.
Assessments of the President’s performance when it comes to the economy do not show any improvement from the beginning of his term; in fact, there has been a 21-point drop in approval since then. In the last year, approval has ranged from the high thirties to the high twenties.
In addition, relatively few Americans see the country as heading in the right direction: only 16% do. And in this week’s poll, 67% believe it is off on the wrong track.
As for Congress, this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll marks yet another week when opinion of Congress matches its all-time low. Only 7% approve of how the legislative branch is handling its job; 68% don’t.
Photo source: Press Association