News Interest Index: Public Sees News About Economy Less Glum

May 13, 2009

Most Americans say they are hearing a mix of good and bad news about the U.S. economy, a stark change from the start of the year when a sizable majority said they were hearing mostly bad economic news.

The latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted May 8-11 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, finds that almost two-thirds (64%) of the public says they are now hearing a mix of good and bad news about the economy. That share has increased monthly since two-in-ten (19%) said they saw a mix of economic news in December. Last month, it was 56%.

Three-in-ten (31%) now say they are hearing mostly bad news. In December, 80% said they were hearing mostly bad news. By April, that was down to 39%. Currently, only 4% say they are hearing mostly good news about the economy, the same as in April.

The public continued to follow reports about the condition of the U.S. economy closely last week. Still, about a third (34%) say they followed reports about the swine flu in the U.S. and elsewhere most closely, slightly more than the 30% that say they followed economic stories most closely. But with the swine flu outbreak apparently not as dangerous as first feared, the share saying they followed news about the virus very closely was down 9 points from the previous week to 34%.

Read the full report Public Sees News About Economy Less Glum on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.

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