Americans Say They Missed Market Surge:
Bloomberg National Poll
Wall Street Disliked While Washington Not Trusted to Make Fixes
March 23, 2010 07:29 PM Eastern Daylight Time
NEW YORK--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Americans are negative on the economy and markets even as
stocks and growth indicators are up, according to the Bloomberg National Poll, a quarterly survey of Americans.
A 57 percent majority of Americans believe the economy has worsened rather than improved during the past year
even though a bull market has driven up the benchmark S&P 500 U.S. stock index more than 73 percent and the
economy has grown at a 5.9 percent annual pace. A sense of gloom pervades perceptions of the economy and
nation; barely one-in-three Americans say the country is on the right track. Just 9 percent of those polled say they
believe the economy will be strong again within a year and 4 percent of Americans who cut back on spending now
say they are confident to start back up.
Half of Americans say they believe the economy or unemployment is the most important issues facing the country.
Health care was cited by 22 percent, followed by 20 percent who cite the federal deficit or government spending.
Just 5 percent say the war in Afghanistan. Poll respondents also persistently rated high unemployment the greatest
threat to the economy over the next two years, with 75 percent calling it a high threat. Chronically high budget
deficits followed, cited as a high threat by 70 percent, then homeowners who can’t pay their mortgages, which is
cited by 58 percent. Higher taxes are deemed a high threat by 57 percent.
As the country struggles with a 9.7 percent unemployment rate while bank profits surge, 57 percent of Americans
have an unfavorable view of Wall Street, versus fewer than one-quarter who have a favorable opinion of the financial
hub. Banks are viewed badly by 54 percent of the poll respondents, and 60 percent have a negative opinion of
insurance companies. The poll also shows most Americans don’t like the nation’s top corporate bosses. Nearly two-
thirds say they have a mostly unfavorable opinion of business executives a rating that rivals the public’s disdain for
While gloomy about the nation’s economic outlook, most Americans believe there is little chance in the next few
years of another financial upheaval like the 2008 crisis that caused a new collapse of the U.S. banking industry.
While 42 percent say they think such a scenario is possible, 57 percent say it is only somewhat likely or not likely at
all, according to the Bloomberg National Poll, which interviewed a random sample of 1,002 U.S. adults ages 18 or
older, for a snapshot of Americans’ thoughts on Obama’s administration and the economy.
The Bloomberg National Poll was conducted by Selzer & Company, whose survey of Iowa Caucus voters in 2008
was the only one to accurately predict Barack Obama's victory. The firm has conducted surveys for more than two
dozen major newspapers in the U.S., and was named the best of 32 polling firms ranked by polling Web site
FiveThirtyEight.com. Poll results are available at www.bloomberg.com.
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Angela Martin, +1-212-617-1211