New Gallop Poll: Americans Feel the Economy is Getting Worse

Jun.20.07 | About: SPDR S&P (SPY)

All of a sudden, some investors, analysts, and commentators are getting the "feeling" that the economy might be "bottoming."

That is despite the fact that housing continues to slip-slide into a dark abyss, the employment "gains" we've seen in recent months have largely been due to statistical plug-factors, long-term interest rates are rising both here and abroad, chief financial officers and other senior executives are growing increasingly cautious in their outlooks, and an expanding list of historically reliable indicators is signaling tough times ahead.

To top it off, the group that would have to be at the forefront of this alleged turnaround - because they account for more than two-thirds of U.S. gross domestic product - is anything but upbeat about the future, according to Editor & Publisher, in a report entitled, "Gallup: 7 in 10 Americans Say Economy Is 'Getting Worse.'"

A new Gallup Poll will only reinforce those who claim that while the rich get richer most Americans don't feel they are sharing in the growth in our economy. The stock market may be climbing and the unemployment remains relatively low, but 7 in 10 Americans believe the economy is getting worse - the most negative reading in nearly six years.

Only one in three Americans rate the economy today as either excellent or good, while the percentage saying the economy is getting better fell from 28% to 23% in one month.

Gallup adds: "For the first time this year, a majority of Americans are negative about the employment market, saying it is a bad time to find a quality job."

The 70% negative rating is up 10 points since April. Also, just in the past month, there has been a significant five-point drop, from 28% to 23%, in the percentage saying conditions are getting better.

"When asked about the most pressing financial problems their family faces today, Americans mention healthcare costs, lack of money or low wages, and oil and gas prices," Gallup reports. "Healthcare costs are mentioned by 16% of Americans while 13% say low wages and 11% say oil and gas prices. These percentages are virtually unchanged from last month."

The survey of 1,007 adults was taken June 11 to 14.

Based on this, I'm wondering whether those who've been experiencing these warm and fuzzy "feelings" lately should get themselves checked out - before they start inflicting a great deal more harm onto themselves and others?