Americans have a mix of concern and hope about the economy

Looking out over six months and the outlook is less dire

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The present state of the economy is a concern to Americans and they believe conditions are worsening, according to a Gallup Poll.

However, looking out over six months and the outlook is less dire.

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Seven in 10 continue to say the U.S. economy is in a recession or worse. The same number say economic conditions are getting worse.

In the six month outlook, 48 percent of Americans think it will go up by a lot or a little while slightly fewer, 42 percent, think it will go down.

The April 14-28 poll was conducted prior to the Commerce Department’s April 29 announcement that the GDP fell by 4.8 percent in the first quarter.That confirmed the reports that the economic shutdown from the coronavirus was hitting the economy hard.

The view of those surveyed was that things will improve once things reopen.

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As far as the stock market is concerned, 51 percent think the stock market will go up a lot or a little over the next six months while 39 percent predict it will go down.

At the time of the poll, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had recovered about half its losses from the sharp downturn in March.

The outlook for unemployment is largely negative with 49 percent saying unemployment will go up over the next six months, while 44 percent say it will go down.

With federal interest rates near zero and nowhere to go but up, 40 percent think interest rates will go up in the next six months while 32 percent say they will go down. Another 25 percent think rates will stay the same.

The public is most pessimistic about inflation with 56 percent predicting an increase.

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Just prior to the Commerce Department’s GDP announcement, 72 percent said the U.S. economy is now in a recession (42 percent) or depression (30 percent).