Four in 10 believe the economy will get better over the next year, almost twice as many as the 22 percent who think it will get worse. Around one in three people believe the economy won’t change much in either direction.
At the same time, around half of people believe their own situation will stay roughly the same, and more think it will get better (31 percent) than worse (18 percent).
The findings come after a string of uneven economic reports over the last couple of months.
The government’s last two unemployment reports have disappointed, after a strong start to the year, and the first-quarter gross domestic product figure also grew more slowly than expected.
Still, sectors like manufacturing have also performed fairly strongly, and small business confidence increased last month.
As for Obama, who will likely face Mitt Romney this fall, the AP poll found 53 percent approved of his work, with 46 percent unhappy with his performance. The president’s approval rating was tied, 49 percent on each side, in February.
The poll of 1,004 people had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percent.
But while the president performed stronger in areas like terrorism and in the war on Afghanistan, 52 percent didn’t like how he was handling the economy, a slight uptick from February. Forty-six percent are behind his work in that area.
Meanwhile, almost two-thirds of respondents disapproved of his work on gas prices, even as the price at the pump has gone down in recent weeks.