Nearly 6 in 10 Americans Say They’re Financially Better Off Now Than a Year Ago: Gallup Poll

BY JANITA KAN

Americans’ levels of optimism about their current and future personal financial situation have reached or are near record highs, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Nearly 6 in 10, or 59 percent, Americans say they are financially better off now than they were a year ago, which is up from 50 percent last year, according to polling data released on Wednesday. The highest prior record for the same question was in January 1999, at 58 percent, during the dot-com boom where economic conditions were similar. Meanwhile, 20 percent of Americans say they are financially worse off now than a year ago, with 21 percent saying they are financially the same.

The pollster also noted that at least half of Americans rated their personal finances better than a year ago from 1998 to 2000 but this number fell under 50 percent from 2001 to 2018, with a low of 23 percent in May 2009, during the Great Recession.

The data also found that Americans have expressed optimism about their future financial situation, with nearly 3 in 4, or 74 percent, of Americans predicting that they will be better off financially a year from now. Gallup noted this is the highest reading for the question since the question has been asked since 1977. The highest previous record was in 1998 at 71 percent.

The findings align with many of President Donald Trump’s assertion that Americans are doing better under his presidency, Gallup notes. During his State of the Union address on Thursday, Trump touted the burgeoning U.S. economy, tax cuts, low unemployment rates for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans, growing wages, and job creation through a focus on manufacturing.

“Three years ago, we launched the great American comeback. Tonight, I stand before you to share the incredible results,” Trump said. “In just three short years, we have shattered the mentality of American decline and we have rejected the downsizing of America’s destiny” and the United States is “moving forward at a pace that was unimaginable just a short time ago, and we are never going back,” he added.

The polling data also found that there was a partisan divide in the way Republicans and Democrats see their financial situations, with 76 percent of Republicans reporting that they are financially better off now than a year ago, while only 43 percent of Democrats reported the same. Meanwhile, 83 percent of Republicans expressed optimism about their future financial situation, compared to 60 percent of Democrats who said the same. The pollster found that Independents fell in between with 58 percent expressing optimism about their current personal finances, and 76 percent predicting they will be better off next year.

The data came from the recent Mood of the Nation poll, which was conducted by telephone between Jan. 2 and Jan. 15, with a random sample of 1,014 Americans over the age of 18 across the country. The margin of error for the poll is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Jack Phillips contributed to this report.

Republished with Permission The Epoch Times    SUBSCRIBE


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