Americans worry about economy

A new LAT/Bloomberg poll finds that 60 percent of those surveyed believe that a recession is looming within the next 12 months. That number is similar to the 64 percent who (correctly) expected a pullback in a December 2000 LAT poll. Most economists believe we'll be spared a recession this year, but the outlook after that is unclear. For the record, recessions in presidential election years almost never happen - mostly because there's usually an incumbent or a VP running and they'll do anything under the sun to avoid a contracting economy. Come the first year of a presidential term, recessions are more common. But with no one in the WH running this time, who knows? Also worth noting: Since World War II, the stock market has never had a negative pre-election year - and it's only had three down years in an actual election year. From Bloomberg:

"We're living on borrowed time,'' said Andrew Herring, 43, a chemical engineering professor at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado, who took part in the survey. "We spend ridiculous amounts of money on the war and now we have issues with the subprime housing market,'' said Herring, a Democrat. Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed disapproved of Bush's handling of the economy and 38 percent approved, his worst showing in eight months. Nonetheless, 57 percent said the economy is doing well. That was down 11 points from January.

As for real estate, more than half of those surveyed expect homes in their neighborhood to hold their value over the next six months. Twice as many respondents said home prices will increase as those who predicted a decline. Only 16 percent anticipated a decrease in prices (even though prices are falling in many areas). It's a pretty strange poll.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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