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Gallup Poll: US Economic Pessimism Worse Than Year Ago

Wednesday, 12 Oct 2011 08:29 AM

Americans are much more pessimistic over the fate of their economy than they were just a year ago, a Gallup poll finds.

Gallup's Economic Confidence Index came to minus-49 for the week of Oct. 3-9, which was one percentage point better than the minus-50 for the previous week, but still lower than it was earlier in 2011 and a whole 20 points lower than it was a year ago.

"Seventy-five percent of Americans said the U.S. economy is getting worse in the week ending Oct. 9, while 21percent said it is getting better," Gallup reports

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"Fifty-three percent of Americans rated current economic conditions as 'poor' last week, while 9 percent rated conditions as excellent or good."
Confidence plunged to its lowest point in 2008 but managed to recover in 2009 and in 2010.

(Getty Images photo)
The first part of 2011 saw recovery as well, although the political impasse over raising the debt ceiling rattled what little confidence Americans had been regaining in the economy.

"Although the substantial drop in economic confidence that began in July has stabilized in recent weeks, a situation in which three out of four Americans continue to say the economy is getting worse rather than better signifies deep-seated economic concerns that if sustained will have serious economic, social, and political consequences," Gallup adds.

U.S. consumers fuel the country's growth, yet other indicators show their confidence in the economy remains very low.

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index edged up just slightly to 45.4 in September from 45.2 in August, the month of the debt ceiling impasse.

"The pessimism that shrouded consumers last month has spilled over into September," says Lynn Franco, research chief at the Conference Board, according to the AFP newswire.

"Consumers expressed greater concern about their expected earnings, a sign that does not bode well for spending."

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