More than half of Americans (55%) describe the U.S. economy as being in a recession or depression, even as the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) reports that “the economic recovery is proceeding at a moderate pace.” Another 16% of Americans say the economy is “slowing down,” and 27% believe it is growing.
While most Americans seem to disagree with the FOMC’s characterization of the economy, their current assessment is better than that of September 2008 — during the height of the financial crisis — when 69% said the economy was in a recession or depression. On the other hand, current attitudes are more downbeat, overall, than they were in early February 2008, when 45% considered the economy to be in either a recession or a depression. However, Americans are much more likely today to perceive the economy as growing rather than slowing down.
Although economists announced that the recession ended in mid-2009, more than half of Americans still don’t agree. These ratings are consistent with Gallup’s mid-April findings thatÂ 47% of Americans rate the economy “poor” andÂ 19.2% report being underemployed.