The extreme temper that settled over the U.S. during the summer has eased slightly, but Americans stay gloomy about the economy and more than half say President Barack Obama does not inspire confidence about a recovery.
A sizable majority — more than 7 in 10 — believe the country is headed in the wrong direction and, in a new high, 43 percent explain the nation's economy as "very poor," according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. Among those surveyed, less than 40 percent say Obama's proposed remedies for high unemployment would increase jobs significantly.
The pessimism is not a good sign for the nation's recovery hopes and presents a more urgent challenge for Obama as he mounts his re-election bid.
About 4 in 10 think unemployment will rise in the coming year; just 23 percent expect it to decrease. And few expect the government to be able to help. Only 41 percent say the government can do much to create jobs, and less than 40 percent say the main part of Obama's jobs proposal would increase employment significantly.
What's more, expectations for the coming year have not improved, with 41 percent believing the economy will remain the same, 27 percent saying it will get worse and 30 percent saying it will improve.