Americans’ Perceptions of the National Economy and Personal Finances

Since hitting the lowest point in mid-2009, ratings of the national and local economies have shown small improvements. One third (33%) of Americans describe the current economic situation in their country as “good”. Perceptions about the national economy have improved notably since March among the higher income households, but have declined among the lowest income group.

The United States is among the lower to middle of the pack of countries while the main European Union nations are down near the bottom of the list of 24 countries studied on this sentiment. The global average is 36% on this measure.

Ratings of personal finances – and of optimism about personal finances – have been flat since tracking began in early 2010. Expectations for improvement in personal finances do not vary much by gender or income, although younger Americans appear most optimistic about their financial situation over the next six months, and this measure has shown notable improvement since March.

Public Perspectives is a monthly subscription report produced by U.S. Public Affairs which features Americans’ assessment of their national and local economies, their personal finances and their issue concerns. Data for this report were taken from Ipsos Global @dvisor, a survey conducted monthly in 25 countries around the world via Ipsos’ Online Panel system. To learn more about Ipsos Global @dvisor, please click here.