Last year at this time, 27 percent of the country rated the economy as good or excellent and only 35 percent said it was poor. This year, only 7 percent give the economy a good or excellent rating and 65 percent say it is poor. Consumer attitudes about their personal finances have a less volatile deterioration, but are still at record lows. This December, 35 percent of American adults rate their own financial situation as good or excellent. That’s 4 points off the 39 percent reported a year ago.
A majority of consumers have responded to the nation’s economic crisis by cutting spending. While this may not be helpful to the economy, consumers are keeping their budgets in balance, which may give them more confidence in the months ahead should the economy turn a corner.