Americans divided over economic prospects?

By Personal FinanceFOXBusiness

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It’s a tale of two futures: A pair of new studies seem to indicate Americans are deeply divided about their future economic prospects.

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While the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a survey on Monday highlighting how Americans were not only slightly pessimistic about the future of the U.S. economy, but also their personal financial situations, Gallup released a poll indicating people were upbeat about their individual prospects.

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According to the New York Fed’s findings, most households predict they will be worse off financially in one year – only 38.6 percent think they will be better off, the lowest reading in more than two years. When compared with last month, respondents to the Fed’s survey had a more pessimistic outlook on spending growth and income growth expectations. Many also thought credit availability would become a bigger challenge and interest rates on savings accounts would rise.

Gallup, on the other hand, found that Americans were the most optimistic about their personal finances than they had been in 16 years – with 69 percent expecting to be better off at this time next year. However, only 50 percent say they are currently better off than where they were at this time last year.

Republicans, as a whole, were more likely to say they are better off when compared with last year than Democrats.

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Meanwhile, more clarity about the state of the overall economy is likely on the way. Due to a record-long partial government shutdown, the release of some recent economic data has been delayed. The GDP growth rate for the fourth quarter will be released later this month. There are ongoing concerns about the impact of a protracted trade war with China on both domestic – and global – growth.

The U.S. economy added 304,000 jobs in January—which was far more than what Wall Street had anticipated. It marked the 100 straight month of gains.