CBS News poll finds fewer Americans expecting economic slowdown now

Most Americans continue to rate the economy negatively, but sentiment has been slightly improving of late, and Americans now think the longer-term outlook appears more stable. Related to this, more are now noticing lower gas prices.

The share describing the economy as at least fairly good has ticked up to match its highest level in nearly two years — since early 2022.

And Americans are less pessimistic as they plan for the next year. For much of 2023, six in 10 were expecting the economy to be slowing or in recession. That number has dropped to closer to half of Americans today. There’s been a corresponding increase in the share expecting the economy to hold steady or even grow.

And many have felt some relief at gas pumps recently. Just a quarter now report increasing gas prices in their area; about half the number that said so over the summer. Just as many now say gas prices are going down, with a one-third plurality saying prices have been staying the same.

President Biden does not appear to be receiving much credit from the public for these changes. Neither his overall approval rating nor his rating on handling the economy have improved. And when asked what the most important problem facing the country is, Americans still put inflation at the top of the list.

This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,157 U.S. adult residents interviewed between January 3-5, 2024. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as past vote. The margin of error is ±2.8 points.

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