When it comes to the economy, the American public is given a lot of different ways to “read” the tea leaves with indicators of how things are going. They can try and track the ups and downs and ups of the stock market. They can look at the housing stats or the latest jobs numbers. There is GDP or the latest “fed minutes.” But what matters most is how people feel they themselves are doing – do they have enough money in their wallets/bank accounts to pay their bills and maybe save a little each month? And, if they do not, there is a larger question of who or what has influence over that issue.
When it comes to their household financial condition, one-quarter of U.S. adults (24%) say they expect it to be better in the next six months, while 26% say they expect it to be worse and half (49%) say they expect it will remain the same. This is slightly off of last month’s numbers, when 53% said they expected their household’s financial condition to remain the same, 23% said they thought it would get worse and 24% thought it would be better.
As the President’s overall job approval number drifts downward, so too does his rating on the economy. When it comes to the job that President Obama is doing on the economy, one-third of Americans (33%) give the President positive ratings, while two-thirds (67%) give him negative marks. In June, 35% gave President Obama positive marks while 65% gave him negative ones.
Looking at the overall economy, Americans seem to be anticipating the status quo. Over two in five (44%) expect that, in the coming year, the economy will stay the same; three in ten (29%) say it will improve and 27% believe it will get worse. Last month, one-third (32%) expected the economy to improve in the coming year, 27% expected it to get worse and 41% said it will stay the same.
Who influences how Americans are doing?
There is always a blame game. Things aren’t going right, and it’s the fault of big business or Congress or state government. But who do Americans really think influences how they are doing financially? Almost two in five (38%) believe Congress has a great deal of influence, while more than one-third say the Federal Reserve (35%), Wall Street (34%) and the President (34%) have a great deal of influence on how they are doing financially. Around three in ten say that large corporations (31%) and state government (28%) have a great deal of influence while just two in ten (20%) say that about local governments. On the bottom end of the spectrum, over half of U.S. adults (56%) say that small businesses don’t have an influence on how they are doing, with 38% saying not much of an influence and 17% saying no influence at all.