Washington (CNN) - Two-thirds of Americans say that the nation's economy is in poor shape, but a new national poll indicates there are a few glimmers of optimism.
According to a CNN/ORC International survey released Friday morning, a third of the public says economic conditions are good right now. That's up seven percentage points from the 26% who felt that way in a CNN poll from December. And the 67% who rate the nation's economic conditions as poor is down from 74% at the end of last year.
The poll also indicates that the number who say that conditions are "very poor," the worst option offered in the questionnaire, stands at 29%, the lowest point in over a year.
"Any positive changes in the economy appear to have only helped college graduates, while the rest of the country is still struggling," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The number of college graduates who think the economy is in good shape rose from 34% in March to 42% now, compared to no significant change among Americans with no college degree."
According to the survey, a majority say that the economic news they have heard recently has been mostly bad, but there is a glimmer of hope there as well. Thirty-seven percent say that the economic news they have heard recently has been good. That's up from 21% who said the same thing in a CNN poll from 2010.
Has the bull market on Wall Street made a difference?
"For some Americans, probably yes, but whether you consider record-high Dow Jones averages as good news probably depends on whether you own stocks. People who make more than $50,000 a year - and are much more likely to own stocks - are also much more likely than lower-income Americans to say that they have heard good economic news recently," adds Holland.
The CNN poll was conducted May 17-18 by ORC International, with 923 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.
- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report