WASHINGTON (CNN) - Two new national polls suggest that Americans are becoming more confident about the economy.
Forty-two percent of people questioned in a new ABC/Washington Post poll say they think the country is on the right track. It's still a minority of respondents, but it's a jump of 23 points since President Obama was inaugurated in January. And 27 percent say they think the nation's economy is getting better - also a minority, but a jump of 21 points since Obama entered the White House.
A new Gallup poll also finds a dramatic rise of consumer optimism over the past month.
"The numbers from both polls still indicate widespread dissatisfaction with economic conditions and concern about the future," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "We're not out of the woods and there is no indication that we will be any time soon. But any sign of improvement in the public's mood is good news."
The ABC/Washington Post poll also indicates that two out of three Americans approve of the way Obama is handling his duties as president. The 66 percent approval rating in the survey is in line with many recent national polls.
That survey also indicates that only one in four blame the President for the severe recession in the country. Eight in ten polled blame the banks and big business, seven in ten blame consumers and an equal amount blame former President George W. Bush.
The survey also suggests that President Obama is more popular than his policies on the economy. While his overall approval rating stands at 66 percent, 60 percent favor the way he's handling the economy. That figure drops to 52 percent when it comes to the way the president is dealing with the federal budget deficit. And Americans are split on the way the federal government is responding to the recession.
"It's possible that the public is having mixed feelings about the speed of Obama's reaction and the scope of his agenda," Holland says. "Americans like to see their presidents take action rather than sitting on their hands. They may not like all the details of Obama's proposals, but the perception that he is addressing those problems is a plus."
The ABC/Washington Post poll was conducted March 26-29, with 1,000 adults questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. The Gallup poll was conducted March 23-29, with 1,000 adults questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.