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Improving But Fragile Economic Optimism

Consumer Sentiment, April 2012, from Calculated Risk

The overwhelming majority of Americans still think the economy is currently bad, and a plurality think they are worse off than they were a year ago.  Despite that, a large majority think the economy will be much better next year. From USA Today/Gallup:

Though an overwhelming 71% rate economic conditions as poor, a 58% majority predict they will be good a year from now. While those surveyed are inclined to say they are worse off financially than a year ago, nearly two-thirds say they think they’ll be better off this time next year.

The assessment of personal finances already is on the upswing. More than a third report they are better off than they were a year ago — the highest number since before the economic meltdown in 2008. (They’re still outnumbered by the four in 10 who say they’re worse off, though.)

This is some real economic optimism, but it seems fragile, since most people still see the economy as poor.

I imagine a new set of bad economic news could undermine this optimism, and there appears to be real potential for some serious problems. For example, a messy unraveling in the Eurozone before November currently seems a real possibility, and that could easily send some shock waves through the US economy.

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Improving But Fragile Economic Optimism

The overwhelming majority of Americans still think the economy is currently bad, and a plurality think they are worse off than they were a year ago.  Despite that, a large majority think the economy will be much better next year. From USA Today/Gallup:

Though an overwhelming 71% rate economic conditions as poor, a 58% majority predict they will be good a year from now. While those surveyed are inclined to say they are worse off financially than a year ago, nearly two-thirds say they think they’ll be better off this time next year.

The assessment of personal finances already is on the upswing. More than a third report they are better off than they were a year ago — the highest number since before the economic meltdown in 2008. (They’re still outnumbered by the four in 10 who say they’re worse off, though.)

This is some real economic optimism, but it seems fragile, since most people still see the economy as poor.

I imagine a new set of bad economic news could undermine this optimism, and there appears to be real potential for some serious problems. For example, a messy unraveling in the Eurozone before November currently seems a real possibility, and that could easily send some shock waves through the US economy.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com