Overall Attitudes on the Economy Continue to Move Downwards After Government Shutdown

Oct 30, 2013 No Comments by

NEW YORK, Oct. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — How much damage did the government shutdown do to Americans’ attitudes on the economy? Unfortunately, maybe a lot – and now the question becomes, will these attitudes become a new reality or will they settle down in a month or two?

For the President, things haven’t changed that much month over month. This month, three in ten Americans (30%) give President Obama positive ratings for his handling of the economy while 70% give him negative marks. This is almost unchanged from last month, when 29% gave him positive marks and 71% gave President Obama negative ratings.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,368 adults surveyed online between October 16 and 21, 2013 by Harris Interactive . Please note that most of the data was collected after the government re-opened after the shutdown.

General economic conditions and the job market

Looking ahead, there is definitely a sense of pessimism on the economy in the next few months. Last month, almost half of U.S. adults (46%) said, in the coming year, that they expect the economy to stay the same, while less than one-quarter (22%) expected it to improve and one-third (32%) expected it to get worse. This month, while 22% still believe the economy will improve in the upcoming year, now four in ten Americans (41%) believe the economy will get worse and 37% say it will stay the same.

There is also a growing sense of pessimism on household finances. While just under half of Americans (48%) say they believe their household financial condition will stay the same in the next six months, 18% believe it will get better and one-third (34%) say it will get worse. In September, 19% believed it would get better and 29% believed it would get worse.

When it comes to the job market, the sense of pessimism is not as severe as with the overall economy. One in five Americans (20%) say the current job market in their region is good, while one-third (32%) say it is neither good nor bad and almost half (48%) say it is bad. In August, almost one-quarter (23%) said the job market was good and 46% said it was bad. Looking ahead six months, one in five U.S. adults (20%) say they job market in their region will get better, 53% say it will remain the same and 27% believe it will get worse. Two months ago, one-quarter of Americans (25%) said the job market would be better in six months and 24% believed it would get worse.

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