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Much was made of a so-called “V” shaped recovery over the summer, when economic data soared out of lows earlier this year. Now, as the United States enters a winter with a vaccine new but not yet widely distributedAmericans seem less convinced that the economy is heading in the right direction: in fact, the majority think things are getting worse.
According to a recent Fortune-Survey Poll conducted between November 30 and December 1, more than half (54%) believe that the current national economic situation is deteriorating, up from 52% in August.
However, while accounts of the economy itself have been varied, some 26% of Americans surveyed believe the economy is improving. And among those who identify as Republicans and Democrats, the contrast was stark: 50% of Republicans believed the economy was improving, compared to just 9% of Democrats. Notably, however, Republicans were much more bullish on the economy ahead of the election, when 62% of those polled between Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 believed the economy was improving.
Across income levels, meanwhile, at least about half of all income groups felt the economy was heading in the wrong direction.
Almost ten months after the start of a pandemic that wreaked havoc on the U.S. economy, it’s not hard to see why many Americans have a grim outlook.
Granted, the economic rebound has been better than many economists and analysts expected, and key data like retail spending and the unemployment rate continued to improve, albeit at a much slower pace in recent months. The latest unemployment report from December 4 showed that only 245,000 jobs were added in November, slightly lowering the unemployment rate from 6.9% to 6.7%.
“The recovery lost momentum, but it continued,” said Michelle Meyer, head of the US economy at Bank of America recently. Fortune.
But at this stage, the recovery is starting to stagnate and needs a further boost to continue or risk a further decline, some economists say. About 13 million people are expected to lose unemployment benefits in the event of a pandemic on December 26 with no further relief program to extend them, and millions could be vulnerable to evictions in January.
“If we don’t get this help, [the recent unemployment] report suggests that the the economy will start to reverse, we will start to lose jobs and unemployment will start to rise again, ”Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi recently said.Fortune. In fact, he argues without further help from Congress: “There’s a good chance this will go down in history as a double-dip recession.”
This relief, however, has yet to materialize, although Congress nears deadline to pass bill. And on December 10, weekly jobless claims for the week ending Dec. 5 rose to 835,000 from 716,000 the week before – higher than expected.
Fortune-SurveyMonkey interviewed 2,247 American adults between November 30 and December 1. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.
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