Poll: Two-thirds say economy in bad shape

Two-thirds of American voters say that the nation's economic conditions are poor, but optimism about the state of the country's financial system is rising, according to a new poll released Friday.

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The survey, by CNN and ORC, found that 67 percent of Americans rate the nation's economic conditions as poor. But that's down from the 74 percent who said the same at the end of last year. And while just 33 percent say the economy is doing well, that's up from 26 percent in December.

Fewer Americans -- 29 percent -- also describe economic conditions as "very poor." That's the lowest percentage of Americans choosing the most extreme option offered on the survey in the past year.

Those surveyed are also more likely to say that they have heard good economic news lately. Of those surveyed, 37 percent say they have recently heard something encroaching about the economy, up 16 points from three years ago.

"Whether you consider record-high Dow Jones averages as good news probably depends on whether you own stocks," said CNN polling director Keating Holland in a release. "People who make more than $50,000 a year -- and are much more likely to own stocks -- are also much more likely than lower-income Americans to say that they have heard good economic news recently."

The improvement in economic outlook seems to be partially driven by graduating college students — the number believing the economy is in good shape improved from 34 percent in March to 42 percent now, an indication graduating seniors are succeeding in finding jobs after school.