World Economy

Only 22% Americans Think Economy Will Improve

Only 22% Americans Think Economy Will ImproveOnly 22% Americans Think Economy Will Improve

Wary Americans remain in a defensive posture when it comes to their pocketbooks, and for good reason. A majority still have some serious financial issues, with only 22 percent feeling confident that the economy will improve, with Democrats more hopeful than their Republican counterparts, according to a new poll conducted by Pew Research Center, Washington Times reported.

A few new poll numbers to consider:

56 percent of Americans say they are “falling behind” financially; 59 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of independents agree.

37 percent overall say they are “staying even” financially; 35 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of Democrats and 37 percent of independents agree.

54 percent overall say national economic conditions will be the same in a year; 51 percent of Republicans, 56 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of independents agree.

45 percent overall report “one or more financial problems” in the last year; 40 percent of Republicans, 49 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of independents agree.

22 percent overall say the economy will get better; 15 percent of Republicans, 31 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of independents agree.

22 percent overall say the economy will get worse; 31 percent of Republicans, 11 percent of Democrats and 22 percent of independents agree.

A Pew Research Center poll of 1,501 US adults was conducted Aug. 20-24 and released Friday.

Gap Widening

The widening gap between America's wealthiest and its middle and lower classes is "unsustainable", but is unlikely to improve any time soon, according to a Harvard Business School study released on Monday.

The study, titled "An Economy Doing Half its Job", said American companies - particularly big ones - were showing some signs of recovering their competitive edge on the world stage since the financial crisis, but that workers would likely keep struggling to demand better pay and benefits.

"We argue that such a divergence is unsustainable," according to the report, which was based on a survey of 1,947 of Harvard Business School alumni around the globe, and which highlighted problems with the US education system, transport infrastructure, and the effectiveness of the political system.

Some 47 percent of respondents in the survey said that over the next three years they expected US companies to be both less competitive internationally and less able to pay higher wages and benefits, versus 33 percent who thought the opposite.