Optimism about personal finances hits 16-year high: Gallup

Optimism Americans have about their personal finances has reached its highest level in more than 16 years, according to a new Gallup poll.

The poll found that 69 percent of respondents said they expected to be better off financially at this time next year, while 16 percent said they expect to be doing worse. That was the highest recorded mark since 2002, according to the poll.

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The 69 percent of respondents who said they expect to be doing better is 2 percentage points different from the all-time high of 71 percent who said the same in March 1998. 

The poll also found that 50 percent of those polled said they are doing better financially now than they were a year ago. Twenty-six percent of respondents said they are doing worse now than they were a year ago, the poll found.

Along party lines, respondents who identified as Democrats were more likely than other groups to say they are doing worse financially than they were at this time a year ago. The poll found that 37 percent of Democratic respondents said they are worse off, while 32 percent said they are better off. 

Other than Democrats, most other demographic groups were more likely to say they were better off financially now than a year ago, according to the poll.

The poll's results are based on telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,017 adults, conducted from Jan. 2-10. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.