Featured ReportJune 23, 2011

Pessimism About National Economy Rises, Personal Financial Views Hold Steady

With a growing number of Americans saying they have been hearing “mostly bad” economic news, opinions about the current state of the national economy remain grim. Positive expectations regarding future economic conditions, which remained high even during the depths of the recession, have declined and now stand at their lowest point since mid-2008. Yet […]

PublicationsNovember 11, 2009

A Year Out, Widespread Anti-Incumbent Sentiment

The mood of America is glum. Two-thirds of the public is dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country. Fully nine-in-ten say that national economic conditions are only fair or poor, and nearly two-thirds describe their own finances that way – the most since the summer of 1992. An increasing proportion of […]

PublicationsAugust 19, 2009

More See White House and GOP Leaders at Odds

Americans are in an increasingly sour mood about Washington. Barack Obama’s approval ratings continue to inch downward and a growing proportion of Americans (63%) think that the president and Republican leaders are not working together to deal with important issues facing the nation; in June, 50% said the two sides were not cooperating. While […]

PublicationsJune 19, 2009

Public More Optimistic About the Economy, But Still Reluctant to Spend

The public is increasingly optimistic that the nation’s economy will improve in the next year, while a growing number also expect their personal finances to get better. But this has not caused people to open their wallets: The proportion saying they have cut back on personal spending remains as high as it was earlier […]

CommentaryJune 5, 2009

Gen Next Squeezed By Recession, But Most See Better Times Ahead

CommentaryFebruary 19, 2009

One-In-Five Homeowners Feels “Underwater” On Mortgages

Multi-section ReportsFebruary 12, 2009

As Jobs Crisis Spreads, Worries Climb the Economic Ladder

For the public, the continuing financial crisis has been overtaken by a jobs crisis. The proportion of Americans citing jobs or unemployment as the nation’s most important economic problem has more than quadrupled – from 10% to 42% – since early October and job worries now far surpass concerns over the financial crisis. People’s […]

Multi-section ReportsDecember 11, 2008

Psychology of Bad Times Fueling Consumer Cutbacks

Americans continue to render extremely bleak assessments of economic conditions, both with respect to the national economy and their own financial situations. Fully 92% of the public rates the national economy as only fair or poor, and a substantial majority (61%) judges their personal finances that way. Both measures are among the most negative […]

Multi-section ReportsOctober 15, 2008

Public Not Desperate About Economy or Personal Finances

Americans are concerned about the nation’s economic problems almost to the exclusion of every other issue, and they register the lowest level of national satisfaction ever measured in a Pew Research Center survey. Just 11% say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country – down 14 points in the […]

PublicationsJuly 31, 2008

Inflation Staggers Public, Economy Still Seen as Fixable

The public continues to be extremely downbeat about the national economy. Just 10% say the economy is in good shape, while 72% say the economy is either in a recession (54%) or a depression (18%). On a personal level, concerns about rising prices have surged. Beyond widespread anxiety about energy costs, a growing number […]

PublicationsFebruary 14, 2008

Economic Discontent Deepens as Inflation Concerns Rise

Summary of Findings Public views of the U.S. economy, already quite negative, have plummeted since January. Just 17% currently rate the nation’s economy as excellent or good, down from 26% last month. The percentage of Americans rating the economy as “poor” has increased even more dramatically, from 28% to 45% in one month. Moreover, there […]

PublicationsOctober 11, 2007

Nation’s Real Estate Slump Hits Wealthy Areas

Summary of Findings Public assessments of the nation’s economy have fallen to a two-year low, and the nation’s economic outlook remains relatively gloomy. In particular, faced with a steady stream of negative news about the U.S. housing market, Americans are substantially less inclined than they were even a few months ago to say they expect […]

PublicationsFebruary 15, 2007

War Support Slips, Fewer Expect a Successful Outcome

Summary of Findings Public support for the war in Iraq continues to decline, as a growing number of political independents are turning against the war. Overall, a 53% majority of Americans believe the U.S. should bring its troops home as soon as possible – up five points in the past month and the highest percentage […]

PublicationsDecember 19, 2006

Free Trade Agreements Get a Mixed Review

Summary of Findings The American public continues to have a mixed opinion about free trade agreements such as NAFTA and the WTO. On balance they are seen as a good thing for the country, but Americans are divided over the impact of free trade agreements on their own personal financial situations. About as many people […]

PublicationsJanuary 24, 2006

Economy Now Seen Through Partisan Prism

Summary of Findings As President Bush prepares for his Jan. 31 State of the Union address, the public remains skeptical that the economy is improving, in spite of recent positive signals. Overall, about a third of Americans (34%) rate economic conditions as excellent or good, while nearly twice that number say they are fair or […]

PublicationsJune 1, 2005

Economic Concerns Fueled by Many Woes

Summary of Findings The public continues to be wary in its assessments of the health of the U.S. economy, despite recent improvement in some key economic indicators. Only about one-in-three Americans think the national economy is in good shape, and optimism about the future is markedly lower than it has been over the past three […]

PublicationsApril 3, 2003

War Concerns Grow, But Support Remains Steadfast

Summary of Findings Public support for the war in Iraq remains steadfast in the face of increasing worries about the current military situation and America’s role in rebuilding Iraq after the war. A growing number of Americans are expressing concern that U.S. forces might suffer major casualties or face attack with Iraqi chemical or biological […]

PublicationsJanuary 23, 2003

Bush Confronts State of Economic Unease

Summary of Findings As President Bush prepares for his Jan. 28 State of the Union address, the public’s mood is more subdued that it was a year ago, especially regarding the nation’s struggling economy. Just three-in-ten say they expect economic conditions to improve over the next 12 months, a significant decline from last January when […]

Multi-section ReportsJune 21, 2001

Economic Inequality Seen As Rising, Boom Bypasses Poor

Introduction and Summary As the 90’s economic boom fades into history, one of its legacies is the increasing number of Americans who see society as divided between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots.’ More than four-in-ten (44%) now believe the nation is split along these lines, compared to just 26% who felt that way in 1988, […]

Multi-section ReportsMay 23, 1997

Americans Only a Little Better Off, But Much Less Anxious

Introduction and Summary Psychologically, Americans have turned an important corner recently. They have become much less concerned about meeting major financial commitments, even though they say their material conditions have not dramatically improved. Heightened worries about affording health care, saving for retirement, or saving for a child’s college education have fallen off significantly in recent […]