Officials can call it what they want, most Americans think we’re still in a recession/depression
And like it or not, the Obama administration’s future probably depends on turning that around somehow:
The April 20-23 Gallup survey of 1,013 U.S. adults found that only 27 percent said the economy is growing. Twenty-nine percent said the economy is in a depression and 26 percent said it is in a recession, with another 16 percent saying it is "slowing down," Gallup said.
With growth slowing to 1.8% in the first quarter, those on the pessimistic side seem to have a point.
Severe winter weather, a dip in defense spending and higher energy prices all slowed the growth of gross domestic product in the January-through-March quarter.
Of course our economic experts – who’ve been so dead on all through the financial difficulties – say this is only a temporary blip and recovery should restart anytime. But:
Leaders of the Federal Reserve, for example, said Wednesday that they expect the economy to grow 3.1 to 3.3 percent in 2011; in January their estimate was 3.4 to 3.9 percent.
Keep an eye on energy prices (which have an effect on everything we produce/buy) as a means of testing that claim. If they stay up, which appears likely, then growth isn’t going to speed up that much. Remember the economy needs to grow at about 2.5% annual clip to begin to expand the job markets. Right now that isn’t happening. And energy prices could be the drag that keeps it from happening.
Oh, and key demographic in the poll?
Fifty-seven percent of independent voters — a crucial segment of the electorate for Obama’s re-election bid — said the economy is in a recession or depression and 24 percent said it is growing.
Big job ahead to change those numbers around. And not much time.