In the last few months, concerns about the direction of the economy have grown significantly. Last week, six in 10 Americans said the national economy was getting worse, the highest level since February 2009 — around the beginning of the Obama administration and in the midst of a financial crisis — when YouGov started asking this question.
In the latest Economist/YouGov poll, the share of Americans saying the national economy is getting worse has hardly changed from last week: 58% now describe the economy as getting worse. For the last six weeks, a majority of Americans have said the economy is “getting worse,” reflecting a larger trend rather than a one-off occurrence.
The belief that the economy is worsening is highest among Republicans (78%), with 66% of Independents and 37% of Democrats in agreement this week.
Other recorded high levels of Americans saying the economy was “getting worse” came in April and May 2020, during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic shutdowns. Earlier, a bump in August 2011 reflected fears that the United States could enter a double-dip recession as the stock market fell in reaction to the debt crisis in Europe.
Another bearish indicator for the economy: A growing share of Americans view the current state of the economy as "poor." That's the assessment of 48% of Americans in the latest poll, after reaching a high of 50% the week earlier for a question that's been asked weekly since the start of May 2021.
This poll was conducted on May 28 - 31, 2022, among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens. Explore more on the methodology and data for this Economist/YouGov poll