Do Americans Believe the Economy Is Really Getting Better?

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The strength of the economic recovery is a controversial topic that is not likely to subside anytime soon. Some industries, such as housing, have shown signs of improvement in recent years, but many Americans continue to struggle financially amid stagnant wages and an overall sluggish labor market. One thing is certain: There is a lack of confidence across the nation.

More than half of Americans are not convinced with the so-called recovery. According to a new survey from Fannie Mae, 57 percent of Americans believe the economy is heading in the wrong direction, and only 21 percent say their household income is significantly higher than it was at the same time last year. Furthermore, 57 percent of respondents expect their personal financial situation to stay the same or worsen over the next 12 months.

These confidence readings add more doubt to the already fragile housing market. “Consumers’ lukewarm income expectations and reticence about the economy seem to be holding back housing demand,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae, in a press release. “This year’s spring and summer home buying season has gotten off to a slow start, even as mortgage rates have trended lower over the past two months. Our National Housing Survey data show that economic conditions continue to be the top concern among consumers who think it’s a bad time to buy or sell a home.”