Poll: Slightly more Americans optimistic on economy

Poll: Slightly more Americans optimistic on economy

A slight plurality of Americans are more optimistic than pessimistic about the economy, according to a CBS/YouGov poll released Sunday.

Thirty-eight percent of Americans described themselves as optimistic about the future of the economy compared to 35 percent who were pessimistic, with 27 percent saying they were unsure, according to the poll.


When asked why they were optimistic about the economy, with the option to pick multiple reasons, 45 percent of those who gave that response identified the job market, while 37 percent named the economy and 34 percent identified trade policy, according to the poll.

However, on balance, more overall respondents viewed U.S. trade policy as cause for pessimism than for optimism, according to the poll.

A majority of Americans, 53 percent, gave President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel plans to subpoena Trump lawyer who advised on how to overturn election Texans chairman apologizes for 'China virus' remark Biden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day MORE high marks for his handling of the economy, but a plurality, 38 percent, said his tweets about the economy or stock market hurt confidence compared to 25 percent who said they improve it. Thirty-seven percent said they have no effect on their confidence.

A majority also rate Trump’s handling of trade with China negatively, at 54 percent, compared to 46 percent who approve of his handling of it. Republicans, Democrats and independents are all less positive about his handling of trade with China than they are about his handling of the economy.

Amid possible warning signs for the U.S. economy, Trump has continued to tout the strength of the economy in tweets and public statements. Still, 54 percent of Americans believe he makes the economy sound better than it is. Comparatively, 42 percent of Americans believe the press makes the economy sound worse than it is, according to the poll.

The same proportion of respondents – 34 percent – think both Trump and the media describe the economy accurately.

A plurality of respondents, 40 percent, said their finances are about the same as two years ago, while 29 percent say they are better than two years ago and 22 percent say they are worse, according to the poll.

CBS News Elections and Surveys Director Anthony Salvanto noted that partisan affiliation largely colors respondents' views of the economy, telling CBS' "Face the Nation" that "in this partisan environment," where Americans get their information is a major influence on how they perceive the economy.

The survey was conducted from Aug. 20 to 22 among a nationally representative sample of 2,727 U.S. adults and has a two-point margin of error.