By JIM RUTENBERG and MEGAN THEE-BRENAN
Americans are more pessimistic about the nation’s economic outlook and
overall direction than they have been at any time since President
Obama’s first two months in office, when the country was still
officially ensnared in the Great Recession, according to the latest New
York Times/CBS News poll.
Amid rising gas prices, stubborn unemployment and a cacophonous debate
in Washington over the federal government’s ability to meet its future
obligations, the poll presents stark evidence that the slow, if
unsteady, gains in public confidence earlier this year that a recovery
was under way are now all but gone.
Capturing what appears to be an abrupt change in attitude, the survey
shows that the number of Americans who think the economy is getting
worse has jumped 13 percentage points in just one month. Though there
have been encouraging signs of renewed growth since last fall, many
economists are having second thoughts, warning that the pace of
expansion might not be fast enough to create significant numbers of new
The dour public mood is dragging down ratings for both parties in Congress and for President Obama, the poll found.