With less than one year to go before the next presidential and congressional elections, Americans are somewhat more concerned about how the U.S. economy will fare in 2016 than they were at the beginning of 2015, Pew Research reported Tuesday.
Forty-five percent of 1,500 adults surveyed in mid-December rated economic conditions as only fair, 27% saw them as good or excellent and 28% said they were poor.
Slightly more that half of respondents expected economic conditions a year from now to be about the same as they are today, 22% expected the economy to worsen and 20% for it to improve.
This compares with a year ago, when economic optimism was on the upswing. Thirty-one percent expected the economy to get better over the coming year, compared with 17% who expected it to get worse; half expected little change.
Not unexpectedly, Democrats and Republicans differed on the current state of the economy.
Thirty-eight percent of Democrats said national economic conditions were excellent or good, compared with 22% of independents and 21% of Republicans who said this.
Opinions about the national economy have edged upward over the past seven years, Pew Research reported, and now are about the same as they were in January 2008 on the eve of that year’s financial crisis, with 26% expressing positive views of the economy.
Optimism about the state of the economy among survey respondents varied with family income: 35% of those with $30,000 or less said economic conditions were poor versus 19% of those with incomes of $100,000 or more.