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Fewer Americans Than Ever Think U.S. Economy Will be Stronger in Five Years

Americans are now showing less optimism for long-term economic recovery than ever before.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 46% of American Adults now think the U.S. economy will be stronger in five years, the lowest finding since regular surveying on the question began in January 2009. Twenty-seven percent (27%) say the economy will be weaker, the highest level since May 2010. Just nine percent (9%) say economic conditions will be about the same in five years. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

There is even more pessimism about the short-term economy, though. Forty-three percent (43%) say the economy will be weaker in one year, the highest since July. LINK to 45% Expect U.S. Economy To Be Weaker in One Year Thirty-five percent expect the economy to be stronger in 12 months’ time, which is consistent with findings since 2009. But just 11% expect economic conditions to stay about the same over the next year, the lowest since July 2009. 

Women are evenly divided over whether the economy will be weaker or stronger in a year, while almost half of men are sure it will be weaker. However, pluralities of both genders are confident the economy will be stronger in five years.

Most Democrats believe the economy will be stronger in both one year and in five. Over half of Republicans and a plurality of adults not affiliated with either major political party feel the economy will be weaker in a year. But Republicans are divided over whether it will be stronger or weaker in five years, while a plurality of unaffiliateds feel it will be stronger.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults nationwide was conducted on March 17-18, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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