Poll: Americans are gloomy about the future

More than two-thirds of Americans believe the U.S. economy is either in a recession now or will be in the next year, according to a new Wall Street Journal / NBC News poll. Despite some positive macroeconomic signs, many Americans are nevertheless pessimistic about the future, for three major reasons: the Iraq war (which has depressed the nation’s mood across the board); fear of terrorism attacks; and the health-care system. Health-care costs and outsourced jobs are big domestic worries.

Which one or two elements of the economy concerns you most?

  1. Cost of health care (44%)
  2. Jobs going overseas (34%)
  3. Gap between rich and poor (22%)
  4. Cost of higher education (17%)
  5. Federal budget deficit (16%)
  6. Lack of good-paying jobs (15%)
  7. Cost of housing (14%)

Bright spots: Americans expressed high confidence in the military and in small businesses.

Source: WSJ/NBC telephone poll of 1,005 adults conducted July 27-30, 2007; margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points. Article: “America’s Economic Mood: Gloomy,” The Wall Street Journal (2 August 2007, subscription required)

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