In spring, economic malaise sprouts

Posted: April 21, 2013

WASHINGTON - For the third year in a row, the nation's economic recovery has hit a springtime soft spot. Reflecting that weakness, only one in four Americans now expects his or her own financial situation to improve over the next year, a new Associated Press-GfK poll shows.

The sour mood is undermining support for President Obama's economic stewardship and government in general.

The poll shows that just 46 percent of Americans approve of Obama's handling of the economy while 52 percent disapprove. That's a negative turn from an even split last September - ahead of Obama's November reelection victory - when 49 percent approved and 48 percent disapproved.

Just 7 percent of Americans said they trusted the government to do what is right "just about always," the poll found. Fourteen percent trust it "most" of the time and two-thirds trust the federal government "some of the time"; 11 percent say they never do.

The downbeat attitudes coincide with several economic reports showing recent slowdowns in gains in hiring, consumer spending, manufacturing activity, and economic growth.

The poll, conducted from April 11 to Monday, involved landline and cellphone interviews with 1,004 adults nationwide. Results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

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