Wealthy Americans Most Upbeat Over Economy in A Year — Survey

Monday, 23 Apr 2012 06:51 AM

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Wealthy Americans, whose households take in at least $100,000 annually, are the most upbeat over the economy than they've been in a year, a survey finds.

Fifty percent are optimistic about the economy, up 12 percent from the beginning of the year and the highest level in a year, according to the March 2012 Mendelsohn Affluent Barometer revealed to CNBC.

While improving, the outlook for the economy remains tempered.

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Some 33 percent don't see full recovery until 2014 or later, while another 14 percent say the recession is here to stay.

The labor market remains the top concern among wealthy Americans.

"Two-thirds indicate a drop in unemployment rates would make them more optimistic about the economy," CNBC reports.

"Forty-eight percent would like to see more stability in the housing market and 46 percent indicate a change in the White House would make them more optimistic," CNBC adds.

The labor market still faces headwinds.

In March, the economy picked up a net 120,000 net jobs, far below expectations.

On a broader scale, consumers are becoming increasingly anxious due to rising gasoline prices.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment fell to 75.7 for April from 76.2 in March, mainly due to fears that high gasoline prices will chip away at household budgets.

Economists point out that the economy remains stuck in a pattern of sluggish recovery, avoiding return to a recession but unable to take off and resume pre-crisis growth levels.

"It falls in line with what we're seeing from investor sentiment," Paul Nolte, Managing Director at Dearborn Partners in Chicago says of the April consumer sentiment index, according to Reuters

"We're in an economy that's still struggling, and that's what this reflects. I don't think its necessarily a big surprise."

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