Economic Pessimism Increases

July 25, 2011

harris-economic-expectations-july-2011.JPGLooking at the economy in general, US adults are turning more pessimistic, according to results of a July 2011 Harris Poll. This month, 37% of poll respondents expect the economy to get worse in the coming year, up 12% from 33% last month.

In addition, compared to February 2011, when only 25% of respondents expected the economy to get worse, pessimism has grown 48%.

Optimism Dims

As would be expected based on growing numbers of consumers expecting the economy to worsen, fewer expect it to improve. Only 23% of consumers currently expect the economy to get better in the coming year, down 11.5% from 26% in June and down 32% from 34% in February. The percentage expecting things to stay the same has remained virtually flat since February.

Belief in Economic Growth Collapses

harris-economy-grow-july-20111.JPGDrastically fewer consumers now believe the economy is growing compared to March 2011, when 21% gave this response. That figure dropped 48% to 11% in July. Concurrently, 47% of consumers now say it will take a year or longer for economic growth to commence, up 20.5% from 39% in March.

2 in 3 See Bad Job Market

harris-rating-job-market-july-20111.JPGIn another clear sign of economic pessimism, about two in three (64%) adults say the job market in their region is currently bad, while only 12% say it is currently good and 24% say it is neither good nor bad.

A leading 16% of Easterners say their regional job market is good, compared to the lagging West (9%). However, the region with the lowest percentage of respondents saying their job market is bad is the South (60%), while a leading 69% of Westerners give their regional job market this assessment.

Job Market Expectations Worsen

harris-job-expectations-july-2011.JPGIn general, Americans’ expectations for their regional job markets have worsened since January 2011, when 31% said they expected their regional market to get better in the next six months. That figure has dropped 29% to 22%. Conversely, 25% now say their regional job market will get worse in the next six months, up 39% from 18% in January.

Gallup: US Worries about Economy, Jobs

Americans name the economy and unemployment/jobs as the most important problems facing the nation, as they have all year, according to July 2011 Gallup data. The deficit comes in third as the top problem, followed by dissatisfaction with government in general, healthcare, and concerns about wars.

While the percentages of Americans naming the economy (31%) and jobs (27%) as the top problem are similar, there is a steep dropoff in the percentage naming the deficit (16%), which is roughly half the percentage naming the economy and only about 60% as many as are naming the deficit.

About the Data: This Harris Poll was conducted online within the US between July 11 to 18, 2011 among 2,183 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.


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