Public Perceptions of Economic News Remains Steady: A Mixed Picture

Aug 07, 2012

Public views of economic news—both overall and across most sectors—are little changed in recent months. Today, about half of Americans (53%) say they are hearing a mix of good and bad news about the economy, while 41% say they are hearing mostly bad news and just 3% say they are hearing mostly good news.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted August 2-5, 2012 among 1,005 adults, finds that perceptions of economic news are relatively unchanged from July. However, this represents a rise in the proportion hearing mostly bad news about the economy from earlier in the year, when the unemployment rate dipped.

More Americans Hearing Bad News about Prices, Financial Markets

Currently, 55% report hearing mostly negative news about the job situation. As with economic news overall, public perceptions of news about the job situation are more negative than they were in March of this year but more positive than they were last August.

Public perceptions of news about prices for food and consumer goods has turned more negative over the last few months. Today, a 54% majority reports hearing mostly bad news about consumer prices, up from 45% in July.

Assessments of news about gas prices have worsened since June, mirroring rising costs the pump. About six-in-ten (58%) now say they are hearing mostly bad news about the price of gas; in July—following a drop in gas prices—just 31% said this. But the percentage hearing mostly bad news about gas prices remains lower than the 85% who said this in March, as gas prices were climbing.

Read the full report, Public Perceptions of Economic News Remains Steady: A Mixed Picture, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press website.

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