American opinions about the state of the economy — and who if anyone they trust to handle it — have improved hardly at all in the last year. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, 40% say the economy is still getting worse. 39% thought so a year ago.
Just about twice as many now say the economy in their area is in even worse shape than it was two years ago than think it is better. 47% say it is worse now; 24% think it is better today. And more than half view other economic concerns, like job security, government spending, and the U.S. financial system as worse off today than they were in 2009.
Looking ahead, there is some — though not much optimism. More than a third expects things will be better when it comes to the economy in their area two years from now. But one in four still say things will be worse in two years.
As for the recession, Americans don’t think its impact is anywhere near over (though 1% do). More than two thirds say it will take more than two years for the economy to recover completely from the effects of the recession.
And there is little optimism about job security (31% say that will get better), the U.S. financial system (31% think that will improve), and government spending. Only 23% expect improvement there. Government spending remains a big concern. As in previous Economist/YouGov polls, Americans remain unconvinced that the debt ceiling needs to be raised. Just 26% support doing that. Democrats are the most likely to approve.
There is little confidence in any of those with major responsibility for handling the economy. President Obama fares the best with the public, but only 30% say they have a great deal or quite a bit of trust in his handling of it. 45% have little or no trust. But Federal Reserve Board head Ben Bernanke, Treasure Secretary Tim Geithner, and both Congressional parties do even worse.
How much trust do you have in the following to handle the problems of the economy?
|A great deal||Quite a bit||Only some||Very little||None at all||Not sure|
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner
Republicans in Congress
Democrats in Congress
The President’s approval rating for handling the economy is just 34%, three points below where it was a year ago; a majority continues to disapprove of this. As for his overall approval rating, the country continues to be closely divided; 45% approve in this week’s poll, 48% disapprove.
Photo source: Press Association