Gallup Poll: Almost Half of Americans Say They're Financially Worse Off Than Year Ago

Friday, 17 Jan 2014 05:50 AM

By Dan Weil

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The last year apparently hasn't been kind to Americans' finances, according to a Gallup poll of 1,018 adults conducted Jan. 5 through Jan. 8.

A total of 42 percent say they are in worse financial shape than a year ago, compared with 35 percent who say they're in better shape.

In late 2012, 38 percent said they were better off than the previous year, and 34 percent said they were worse off.

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The 42 percent of people saying their finances are worse off now is 8 percentage points above the 1976-2014 average, while the 35 percent total for people who say they're in better financial shape, compares with a 38 percent average for that period.

However, the outlook is brighter for the future. A total of 55 percent of the respondents expect to be better off financially a year from now, compared with 27 percent who expect to be worse off.

"As previous years show, Americans are typically more positive about their future compared with their assessments of the past, a testament to the enduring sense of optimism many Americans share about their financial future," writes Gallup's Andrew Dugan.

Meanwhile, Americans this month turned the least pessimistic about the economic outlook in five months, according to the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index.

"Households are confident that the increase in overall economic activity is sustainable and expect gains in 2014," Joseph Brusuelas, a senior Bloomberg economist, told the company's news service.

"The improvement in the labor sector, rising equity markets and a noticeable increase in total private credit creation at the end of 2013 has resulted in a more confident consumer."

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