Economic Issues Gaining Importance Politically
Gallup released a new public opinion analysis, one based on a Jan. 4-6 survey, showing only 15 percent of U.S. consumers saying current economic conditions are getting better while 77 percent say they are getting worse. Consumer expectations have thus returned to the historic low they hit two months ago, when only 13 percent said economic conditions were getting better and 78 percent said they were getting worse. The report said, “Consumer pessimism about the future of the economy is now more widespread than it was in March 2003 — just prior to the beginning of the war with Iraq — when 23 percent of consumers said the economy was getting better and 67 percent said it was getting worse.”
Last week, Gallup said that the “New Hampshire exit polls show that economic conditions were a major issue for voters in the Democratic and Republican primaries” and cites Goldman Sachs’ new assertion/projection that the U.S. economy is slipping into recession as a sign that “voter concerns about the economy are likely to increase significantly during the months ahead,” particularly as the consumer credit crunch is slowly intensifies. The Washington Post today reported growing fears on the economy. And the New York Times said the possibility of a recession may prompt President Bush and Congress to push for a stimulus package. But the Times reported Sunday that some fear this might be too late.