President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 20,2011, to discuss the death of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
WASHINGTON (AP) — The extreme funk that settled over the country during the summer has eased slightly, but Americans remain gloomy about the economy and more than half say President Barack Obama does not inspire confidence about a recovery.
A sizable majority — more than 7 in 10 — believe the country is headed in the wrong direction and, in a new high, 43 percent describe the nation’s economy as “very poor,” according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. Among those surveyed, less than 40 percent say Obama’s proposed remedies for high unemployment would increase jobs significantly.
The pessimism is not a good sign for the nation’s recovery hopes and presents a more urgent challenge for Obama as he mounts his re-election bid.
About 4 in 10 think unemployment will rise in the coming year; just 23 percent expect it to decrease. And few expect the government to be able to help. Only 41 percent say the government can do much to create jobs, and less than 40 percent say the main elements of Obama’s jobs proposal would increase employment significantly.
What’s more, expectations for the coming year have not improved, with 41 percent believing the economy will remain the same, 27 percent saying it will get worse and 30 percent saying it will improve.
In a glimmer of a bright spot, less than a quarter of those surveyed say they think the economy worsened in the past month, compared with nearly half who felt that way in August. And Obama could find some solace in the poll’s finding that 44 percent place heavy blame for the economy’s state on President George W. Login to read more