Poll: How do you rate the economy?
May 24th, 2013
05:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Poll: How do you rate the economy?

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.

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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

Filed under: CNN/ORC poll • Economy
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. ghost

    In Tallahassee, FL the economy seems to be just fine. Everywhere you look there is construction(major) or road repair going on. I mean everywhere.

    May 24, 2013 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  2. Thomas

    In transition , getting better.

    Jobs , Jobs , Jobs , do nothing congress that thinks acts like an outdated car.

    May 24, 2013 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  3. Marie MD

    Much better as far as I am concerned. If only the repugs would stop standing in the way of more progress it would be a heck of a lot better.
    Throw those JOB creator lying tea trolls and rethugs out on their collective behinds in 2014.

    May 24, 2013 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  4. Minnie Mouse

    The economy is not good. When you have people living under bridges, on the streets, in tents, and dependinng on shelters just to get a meal this is not good. All of these are to expensive:: Food, gasoline, college, healthcare, a new car,childcare, rent, mortages ect.. The economy is only good for the wealthy and the low income, because these are the families who don't need assistance or get assistance. For everyone who's working in the middle class, it's taking two and three incomes just to survive. Minimum wage has gone up approximately $4.50 in 28 years. The costs of livng is rising faster than the wages. We need to have price gouging laws in all states and also raise the poverty income level. This will help keep costs down and get Americans back into working and paying taxes, to become self reliant.This would improve the economy.

    May 24, 2013 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  5. NocommentCNN

    The ACA when it goes into full effect next year will turn out to be the largest tax increase on working Americans in the history of this country. Because it forces workers to accept their employer's health care plan and pay 6% tax on the benefits and the employer can charge what ever they want for the plan. This will derail any chances of recovery.

    May 24, 2013 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  6. Harvard Alumni

    The economy is what you make of it. If you learn to live within your means and not put yourself underwater into very deep debt that you cannot climb out of, then yes, the economy is flourishing. I am a Harvard University graduate of 1983 with a major in economics. I am only 51-years old and already have my automobile, mortgage and student loans paid off in full. Also, my credit cards are paid off in full each and every month. Most people would say, "You are living large." I respond, "No, that's not the case at all. I am just living within my means. I spend on what I need vs. what I want, and yes, life is good."

    May 24, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  7. MikeMongo

    Two thirds say ecopnomy stinks, but CNN spins it positive anyway? Whatever it takes right guys?

    May 24, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  8. lakeBoy69

    Well what do voters expect, when the continue to vote in office dysfunctional parasites, that are absolutely bent on plundering America, and refuse to enact positive legislation. They only support austerity programs, not Democratic programs, that more America into the future.
    Good job voters

    May 24, 2013 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  9. g

    if americans would stop sending their pay checks to china and the middle east ,and built roads and bridges in america instead of tanks.americans would be working

    May 24, 2013 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  10. Marcus

    Less bad. Yep, that's what we're going for.

    May 24, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  11. Anonymous

    all you got to know is there are more people on food stamps than ever.

    May 24, 2013 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  12. dave

    That proves, yet again, that supply side economics really does not work, and will never ever work. Nothing like helping the rich in hard economic times, especially when the division of wealth situation is so bad, setting huge records on Wall Street while setting records in the division of wealth problem. Of course the media will say it's all the people's fault, not the proven time and agian failed economic policies of the republicans, the people should be all richer, then they wouldn't have that problem, all of their money would be booming in the stock market. The media will never mention failed economic policies, or failed trade policies, just that it's the people's fault that economic/trade policiies of right wing extremists do not work. If we had all different people, things would be fine, but, alas, people have always been the same, and will always be that way, failed policies won't change them, and you can't change the policies.

    May 24, 2013 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  13. Mr. Smith

    Another major collapse is coming. According to wall street the economy is growing by 5-10% According to reality it is at best 1%.

    Since Wall street is supposed to be based of the fundalmentals of the companies in it. How can it be growing so much more than the real economy.

    May 24, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  14. buongiorno

    do you need to ask that SERIOUSLY?

    May 24, 2013 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  15. joe

    I invite anyone to listen to Peter Schiff. He has a valid point- the U.S. does not really manufacture anything. Our entire economy is based on consumer consumption. Just think about it. What did Bush do to stimulate the economy? Mailed checks to everyone so they could go spend it lol. The housing market is coming back they say but why? The Feds have lowered the interest rates to almost nothing. What do you think the economy will do when the Feds raise the rates?

    May 24, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  16. Rick McDaniel

    The economy is a disaster, and is getting worse by the minute.

    May 24, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  17. JD

    I think people have been brainwashed into thinking the economy is worse than what it is. I'm not saying it's at it's best, but I am saying I see a lot of people sitting at home doing nothing while small businesses have help wanted signs in their windows. If I had to pick up cans, which I have done, to make a living I would. Lot of people would rather sit around and talk about there's nothing out there that pays a certain amount so they sit around and try to sponge off others. My first public job when I was 15 was sacking groceries and taking them out to cars for people. Minimum wage was under $2.00. I saved enough money to get my first car. I see people 20 years old and older just laying around the room they grew up in sponging off their parents and they don't even drive. It is what you make it, plain and simple. Those that have no pride and try to make ends meet survive and come out stronger. Those that do nothing, have nothing! I think the economy is doing a lot better then what it was!

    May 24, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  18. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    I rate it fair in the face of obstruction. Remove republicans from Congress and the economy will flourish.

    May 24, 2013 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  19. italian prime minister

    Don't tell me what the people think tell me if the economy is doing better or not. What people think polls are irrelevant.

    May 24, 2013 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  20. jonnyg

    20 million unemployed, economy will crash as soon as the Fed stops pumping currency, 11 million illegals about to be granted amnesty, Democrats want the debt ceiling raised again...what do I think about the economy? It's in the toilet and will get worse...double digit inflation on the horizon

    May 24, 2013 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  21. WeirdMN

    I'm surprised CNN even reported this.

    May 24, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  22. Wake up People!

    If I didn't know better I'd swear I was at the Fox News site. So the Dow being the highest it's been in years, deficit down and more people getting back to work is bad???

    Poor Walter Cronkite is probably in China by now, he has turned over so much in his grave. I sure miss Real journalism....

    May 24, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  23. J

    The whole country is in the toilet.

    May 24, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  24. TomNPitt

    It sounds like even the Republicans are starting to see things getting better.
    FOX and Rush can't be too happy about that!!

    May 24, 2013 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  25. Alan S.

    The economy would be with out a doubt soaring had Congress, in specific the Republicans lawmakers done the job they have been elected to perform. By avoiding the "Sequester Budget Cuts and the upcoming Debt Cieling" they have clearly stalled the economy. Meanwhile the Republicans spend their energy finger pointing rather than looking at the polls which indicate that the American people are just about fed up with them. Time will tell, when it comes to the 2014 elections.

    May 24, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
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