Poll: Public's View of the Economy is Improving

CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.

Americans are more optimistic about the future of the economy than they were last month, according to a new CBS News/ New York Times poll. Forty-one percent of Americans now say the economy is improving, up eight points from April and more than at any time during this recession. Just 15 percent think the economy is getting worse, according to the poll, conducted April 28 - May 2.

There has also been a small bump in President Obama's approval rating on the economy. In a five-point increase from last month, 48 percent now approve of the job he's doing on the economy. That's the highest approval rating on his handling of the economy the president has seen since last November. Forty-seven percent disapprove of his handling of it.

Most Democrats (77 percent) approve of the president's handling the economy, while most Republicans disapprove (86 percent). Independents are divided: 46 percent approve, while 45 percent disapprove. Last month, more independents disapproved than approved of how Mr. Obama was handling the economy.

Read the Complete Poll

This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1079 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone April 28-May 2, 2010. Phone numbers were dialed from random digit dial samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

Sample sizes:

Total Respondents: 1079

Total Republicans: 320

Total Democrats: 380

Total Independents: 379