Poll shows pessimism about the U.S. economy

People in the U.S. are feeling more pessimistic about the state of the economy, according to a USA Today/Gallup Poll.

Sixty percent of those polled say the current economic crisis is the worst in their lifetime, which is a significant increase from 40 percent in September. Ninety-five percent say they view the current economic situation as a crisis or major problem.

Seventy-nine percent say they are worried the U.S. will fall into a depression, which was defined as "an economic downturn much more severe than most recessions and lasting several years." Participants also say they expect it will take three years (the median response) for the economy to recover.

Sixty-two percent are concerned about having enough money to retire, and only 19 percent say today's children are very likely to be more prosperous than their parents.

However, some aren't quite as pessimistic about their individual situations. Eleven percent of respondents say their financial situation is excellent, which is the highest since polling began in 2001 and is an increase from 7 percent in April. Nineteen percent say they are very worried about maintaining their standard of living compared with 24 percent in September, and 17 percent say they are very worried about paying their current bills compared with 20 percent in September.

Date : 12/16/2008