A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey reveals that 7% of American consumers believe that the state of the economy is good or excellent. What is unbelievable is that Rasmussen actually found enough people to constitute even 1%. It might be pointed out that one hopes this 7% were either being sarcastic or are in flat-out denial of reality (no report on how many of those surveyed were in mental institutions).
Among investors, Rasmussen states that the numbers are identical. Seven percent of investors believe the economy is in good or excellent shape, while 62% (also identical to consumers) believe that the economy is in poor shape.
As if headlines of failing banks and financial organizations were not enough to press the point home on a daily basis, reports of rising unemployment, companies shutting down or filing for various types of bankruptcies, and the climbing number of mortgage foreclosures remind everyone on a daily basis that not only is the United States (and the planet) sliding downward through a crushing recession but that the economy is very close to breaking into depression territory. It is doubtful that Americans and most of the world will ever see a Grapes Of Wrath-like depression again, but many economic experts are warning that the trend will be downward for several more months to come.
The survey also reports that 11% of the respondents believe the economy is getting better (and are apparently optimists working in a futures market devoid of economists), while 68% believe it is getting worse (and are people actually paying attention to what is happening in the real world).
The Rasmussen Consumer Index reached the lowest point in its history on December 17 when it hit 56.8. Prior to this year, the Index had never dipped below 83.2. The Consumer Index is a daily rating of the consumer confidence.
The Rasmussen Investor Index fell to its lowest point in history on December 16 when it dropped to 58.5. Prior to 2008 the Investor Index had never fallen below 91.1.
Rasmussen points out that even the 59.6 reading on the day the report was released (Monday, December 22) was still “significantly lower” than was even experienced directly after and following September 11, 2001.
News that the $350 billion spent so far from the $700 billion bailout has had absolutely no impact on the economy and that the banks and financial institutions that were loaned that money are not disclosing what they have done with the loans will certainly not precipitate an increase in the either Index in the coming days.
To repeat: 7% of American consumers believe that the state of the economy is good or excellent. Just who are these people?