A new study by Harris Interactive finds that more than half the nation’s Democrats and Independents feel the economy will get worse in 2008. The study, which polled 2,335 U.S. adults between December 4 and 12, found that 38% of Americans say they feel less secure about their financial situation compared to last year and 45% believe the economy will get worse this year. Republicans, the survey found, are more likely to have positive feelings about the economy–30% of those polled feel more secure about their financial situation–compared to Democrats (14%) and Independents (18%).
The survey also found that 42% of Americans plan to pay down their debt level this year while 41% say they will cut down on household spending and save more. As for specific issues of concern, 34% of Americans are “extremely concerned” that outsourcing–jobs going overseas–will affect them personally. Outsourcing is of most concern to Democrats (40%) compared to Independents (35%) and Republicans (29%). Twenty-eight percent of respondents also said they’re extremely concerned about “the sinking value of the dollar compared to other currencies such as the euro and Canadian dollar.”
When it comes to perceptions about the economy by generation, those in the middle age ranges are most concerned. Gen Xers (those aged 31 to 42) and Baby Boomers (aged 43 to 61) are particularly worried about the economy. Only one quarter (27%) of Echo Boomers (those aged 18 to 30) feel less secure about their financial situation this year, “perhaps showing that they still have a safety net in the form of their parents,” the study says.