NEW YORK, Jan. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The economy can be a tough thing to gauge. Soothsayers of all sorts report on short and long term outlooks, but an important thing to note is that the economy doesn't exist in a vacuum. While many factors play into its ebb and flow, what people actually expect of it can become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, impacting spending and saving trends which can in turn have impacts on the economy as a whole. According to a recent Harris Poll, increasing percentages of Americans are reporting positive economic sentiments in regards to their household, their region, and the nation as a whole.
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,232 adults surveyed online between January 14 and 20, 2015. (Full results, including data tables, available here)
This month, a third (32%) of U.S. adults expect the economy to improve in the coming year, while 47% expect that it will remain the same and roughly two in ten (21%) expect it to get worse. Expectations that it will improve have grown since last month (when 28% were expecting improvement), as well as in comparison to January of 2014 (when 26% indicated the same).
- Men (35%) are more likely than women (29%) to expect the economy to improve in the next year.
- Nearly half of Democrats (48%) expect to see improvement in the economy, with three in ten Independents (30%) and only 15% of Republicans indicating the same.
On the home front
Turning a whole lot closer to home, while a slim majority of Americans (53%) say they expect their household's financial condition to remain the same in the next six months, an increasing percentage (27%, up from 22% last month and 23% at the same time last year) expect it to be better. Roughly two in ten (21%, equal to last month but down considerably from January of 2014) say that it will be worse.
Regional job market
Looking at the job market in one's own region, the perception that it's good (30%) is on the rise in comparison to both the 26% rating it "good" in August (the last time the question was asked) and the 21% indicating the same in January of last year. It's worth noting that the 38% of Americans rating the job market in their region as "bad" still outpaces those with positive sentiments, though equally worthy of mention is the fact that this percentage is down somewhat from last August (when 41% gave it a "bad" rating) and considerably from a year ago (when 48% indicated the same). Roughly a third of U.S. adults (32%) currently rate the present job market in their region neither good nor bad.
Looking ahead, 27% of Americans (identical to last August but up somewhat from last January's 24%) believe the job market in their region will get better within the next six months, while 17% (down from 20% last August and 23% last January) believe it will be worse. The majority of U.S. adults (56%) believe that the job market in their region will remain the same.
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This Harris Poll was conducted online, in English, within the United States between January 14 and 20, 2014 among 2,232 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.
The Harris Poll® #9, January 29, 2015
By Larry Shannon-Missal, Managing Editor, The Harris Poll
About The Harris Poll®
Begun in 1963, The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys measuring public opinion in the U.S. and is highly regarded throughout the world. The nationally representative polls, conducted primarily online, measure the knowledge, opinions, behaviors and motivations of the general public. New and trended polls on a wide variety of subjects including politics, the economy, healthcare, foreign affairs, science and technology, sports and entertainment, and lifestyles are published weekly. For more information, or to see other recent polls, visit the Harris Poll News Room.
The Harris Poll
SOURCE The Harris Poll