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Views of economy drop, but Americans optimistic about recovery — CBS News poll

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Assessments of the economy have plummeted, and many are concerned about a potential job loss, but most Americans are optimistic about the economy's ability to rebound in the future. 

Now, just over a quarter of Americans say the economy is in good shape, a drop of 32 points from December when 6 in 10 said the economy was at least somewhat good.

Condition of the United States economy
CBS News

Still, 58% of Americans are upbeat about the economy's ability to recover quickly.  Americans at all income levels are more likely to be optimistic than pessimistic, as are Americans across all age groups.

Can the United States economy recover?


But there are partisan divisions on this. Eighty percent of Republicans are optimistic that the economy will recover quickly, compared to just 44% of Democrats. Fifty-six percent of independents are also optimistic. And nearly half of Republicans (48%) still think the economy is doing at least somewhat well, though this is down from the 91% who thought so in December.

Nearly half of Americans say the recent decline of the stock market has affected their own personal financial situation, including most Americans who earn $50,000 a year or more. Most who say the stock market's decline has affected them nevertheless remain optimistic about the economy's ability to recover.

Has the stock market affected your finances?

Still, most working Americans are concerned about job or wage loss: more than half who work either full- or part-time are at least somewhat concerned that they themselves or someone in their household may lose their job or have a major reduction in their work hours.

Are you concerned about losing your job?

While over a third of working Americans say they are able to work from home, many are not: 31% are still working outside of the home, and 17% are unable to work at all.

Despite the potential added risks of exposure, those who have to work outside the home are less concerned about contracting the coronavirus than those working from home. Of those who are still going out to work, 16% say they work in retail, 12% report working in the medical field, and another one in 10 say they work in either construction (10%)  or transportation or shipping (10%).


This CBS News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 2,190 U.S. residents interviewed between March 21-23, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 presidential vote and registration status. The margin of error is +/- 2.3 points.

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