On economy outlook, we're glummer than glum
Here we are in full bailout debate mode, with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifying before Congress ... while a new poll shows a whopping 82 percent of Americans say the national economy is getting worse and 68 percent say the national economy is in a recession. The results are based on 1,100 completed telephone interviews conducted by American Research Group among a nationwide random sample of adults 18 and older in mid September. Though another gloomy poll is not my first choice to post here on the Venture blog, these results are stunning.
In September, no (zero, zip, nada) Americans say that the national economy is getting better, 13 percent say it is staying the same, and 82 percent say it is getting worse. In August, 18 percent said the economy was getting better, 19 percent said it was staying the same and and 60 percent said it was getting worse. So, a dramatic decline in public confidence on the economy in one month's time.
Well, duh. If we had polled you last week -- in the worst week for Wall Street (and, financially, perhaps the country) in a generation -- how upbeat would your responses have been?
Here's a bit of a silver lining. A total of 42 percent of Americans say they believe the national economy will be better a year from now, 27 percent say it will be the same, 13 percent say it will be worse, and 18 percent are undecided.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist