A new Gallup Poll says Americans are finally feeling better about their financials and that comes on the heels of a USA Today survey which found that economists are saying that our worst economic days may be behind us. "For the first time in more than five years, slightly more Americans are feeling financially better off, rather than worse off, compared with a year ago, by 38 percent to 34 percent," reads Gallup's report on the poll released today which asked Americans about their feelings about their financials. "The 38 percent of Americans now saying they are financially better off than a year ago is similar to the 37 percent recorded in May, but is the highest Gallup has recorded in five years, since October 2007," it adds. October 2007 is significant, because the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 14,164.53 on October 9, 2007—the record high for the Dow. This optimistic sentiment is in line with recent Consumer Confidence and Consumer Sentiment reports and coincides with a the lowest unemployment numbers since Obama took office. And economists in USA Today's quarterly survey seem to agree, in the big, broad picture sense.
"Next year is likely to be one of slow gains from the deep recession that ended 3½ years ago, with low odds of a new recession, many say," write USA Today's Tim Mullaney and Barbara Hansen. "The economy will grow 2.3 percent next year, up from an average of 1.65 percent in the first half of 2012, according to the median estimate of 48 economists," says the USA Today survey. That's closer to the 2-3 percent magic number which dictates a healthy rate. The median forecasts of the economists also see a drop in unemployment (7.6 percent by the end of next year) and a rise in business investment growth.