Deepening concern about the national economy has not translated into more dour assessments of personal finances so far; as has been the case for some time, Americans are close to evenly divided between those who rate their personal finances as only fair or poor (51%) and those who say they are excellent or good (47%). In December 1993, just 39% rated their personal finances positively, while 60% viewed them negatively. Moreover, even as views of the current economic situation have dimmed, there has been an increase in the proportion saying that the economy will improve over the next year. A third say the economy a year from now will be better than it is today; 39% say it will be about the same as it is now; and 22% say it will be worse. In a January survey, there was less economic optimism, as just 20% expected conditions a year from now to be better than they are today. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.