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Pew: Gas Prices Offset Good News About Jobs

March 14, 2012


This Pew survey says Americans' perceptions of the job situation, financial markets, and real estate values have become more positive, but things like rising gas prices, for instance, still make public views of current economic conditions stubbornly negative.

Perceptions of economic news have improved sharply since last summer, a time many feared the nation could be slipping back into recession. However, opinions about national economic conditions remain overwhelmingly negative.

The percentage saying they are hearing mostly bad news about the economy has fallen from 67% last summer to 24% in the current survey. Over this period, the proportion saying that economic news is a mix of good and bad has more than doubled, from 30% in August to 62% today. The percentage hearing mostly good news now stands at 11%, up from just 1% last August.

Perceptions of news about several sectors of the economy – including the job situation, the financial markets and real estate values – also have become much less negative. Still, news about gas prices is viewed much more negatively. More than eight-in-ten (85%) say they are hearing mostly bad news about gas prices, up from 47% in November.

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