Eight years after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, a vast majority of the country is pessimistic about any significant expansion of the economy over the next decade, according to a POLITICO-Harvard poll.
The survey, commissioned by POLITICO and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that 51 percent of Americans expect the pace of growth to remain at about the current rate over the next 10 years. That’s a grim outlook at a time when year-over-year increases in gross domestic product have come in well below 2 percent in recent quarters.
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Another 21 percent of Americans expect growth will slow during the same 10-year period. Only 18 percent expect the economy to expand more quickly.
The economic outlook is a partisan issue, with majorities of Republicans and Democrats surveyed at odds over whether the economy has really improved since the financial crisis.
The lack of enthusiasm over the trajectory of the economy underscores the populist themes of this year’s presidential election, with insurgent candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders tapping into passionate constituencies who feel they’ve been left behind in the recovery from the Great Recession.