30% of Americans say economy is 'good' despite downturn

52% say the economy will improve next year, while 32% say it will worsen

Despite the coronavirus-fueled economic downturn, nearly one-third of Americans still believes the economy is in good shape, new research shows.

The 30% of U.S. residents who rate conditions positively in a Pew Research Center survey roughly aligns with the figures reported within 14 nations in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region. Globally, some 31% of adults describe the economy as good, with 68% saying the opposite.

The findings reflect the gap in the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to contain it on different segments of society. In the U.S. alone, nearly 60 million Americans have lost jobs since shutdowns began in March.

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Previously, September and October of 2008 had been deemed the worst financial crisis in global history, including the Great Depression, the former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke noted, according to Forbes.

In 2009, only 17% of Americans reported viewing the economy as in good shape.

(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

Despite higher positive sentiment now, 32% of Americans believe conditions are likely to worsen in the next year. Comparatively, 52% say the economy will improve.

A drop in the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week buoys such hopes, as does job growth in August. The U.S. economy added nearly 1.4 million positions last month, according to data published by the Labor Department on Friday.

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The unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell to 8.4%, the first month it has been below 10% since the pandemic forced the shutdown of wide swaths of the U.S. economy.

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