Americans Still Pessimistic About Economy

Almost 70 percent think the economy is in bad shape

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Never mind a stock market breaking records and an unemployment rate inching down: Americans still think this economy stinks.

That’s according to a new CNN poll out Friday, which found almost 70 percent of respondents think the economy is in bad shape, while only 32 percent think things are good. More than half of Americans don’t think conditions will improve next year, according to the poll.

The economy has seen marked improvements in recent weeks. Stocks have surged, unemployment is the lowest it’s been in five years, gas prices have dropped and even the housing market is recovering. But the long-term unemployed or under-employed continue to cut back. The poll found 36 percent were reining in spending on food or medicine, a five-percent increase from 2008, during the height of housing market crash.

Those who viewed the economy negatively are mostly rural residents, according to the poll. The poll surveyed 1,035 Americans by telephone between Dec. 16 and 19, with a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.