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Woo! A Third of Americans Are Happy With the Economy – and That's Good News Woo! A Third of Americans Are Happy With the Economy – and That's Go...

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Policy

Woo! A Third of Americans Are Happy With the Economy – and That's Good News

 (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

photo of Niraj Chokshi
June 5, 2013

More than half of America thinks we're still in a recession and only 36 percent of Americans are "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the economy. That actually counts as good news—those results, from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, are much better than they have been.

In fact, the share happy with the economy is the highest it's been since President Obama took office. And the share of people who think we're still in recession—58 percent—is down 6 percentage points from December. (In case you are the 58 percent, the recession ended in June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.)

While attitudes toward the economy have improved, Obama's approval numbers aren't doing so hot:

 

The diminished economic anxiety may be one reason that Mr. Obama's approval rating kept steady in the poll compared to an April survey, with 48% approving of the job he is doing. The WSJ/NBC pollsters were split on whether decreasing economic pessimism was helping to keep Mr. Obama's numbers aloft amid the controversies over the Internal Revenue Service scrutiny of conservative groups, the Justice Department subpoenas of reporter records and other matters.

But one clear point about Mr. Obama emerged from the poll: Faith in his economic policies is tepid. Only 33% said they were confident that Mr. Obama had the right goals and policies to improve the economy, down seven percentage points from December and nearly equal to the lowest mark of Mr. Obama's time in office.

Confidence is high, too: It's at five- or six-year highs, depending on which measure you look at. And you can thank stock gains and rising home prices for the boost in confidence, experts say.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll's margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.1 percentage points. One thousand adults were interviewed.

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