Amer­i­cans feel good about the econ­omy, not so good about Trump

Muscat Daily - - BUSINESS -

Chicago, US - Al­most six months into Don­ald Trump’s pres­i­dency, Amer­i­cans are feel­ing fairly op­ti­mistic about their jobs, the strength of the US econ­omy, and their own for­tunes. That should be wel­come news for the Pres­i­dent, ex­cept for one thing: The pub­lic’s con­fi­dence largely ap­pears to be in spite of Trump, not be­cause of him.

The lat­est Bloomberg Na­tional Poll shows 58 per cent of Amer­i­cans be­lieve they’re mov­ing closer to re­al­is­ing their own ca­reer and fi­nan­cial as­pi­ra­tions, tied for the high­est recorded in the poll since the ques­tion was first asked in Fe­bru­ary 2013.

A ma­jor­ity ex­pect the US stock mar­ket to be higher by the end of this year, while 30 per cent an­tic­i­pate a de­cline. Yet they don’t nec­es­sar­ily think Trump de­serves credit for ris­ing mar­kets and fall­ing un­em­ploy­ment.

Just 40 per cent of Amer­i­cans ap­prove of the job he is do­ing in the White House, and 55 per cent now view him un­favourably, up 12 points since De­cem­ber. Sixty one per cent say the na­tion is headed down the wrong path, also up 12 points since De­cem­ber.

Trump scored his best num­bers on his han­dling of the econ­omy, but even there the news for him isn’t great. Less than half of Amer­i­cans - 46 per cent - ap­prove of Trump’s per­for­mance on the econ­omy; 44 per cent dis­ap­prove. He gets slightly bet­ter marks for job cre­ation, with 47 per cent ap­prov­ing.

“If you take the Pres­i­dent’s scores out of this poll, you see a na­tion in­creas­ingly happy about the econ­omy,” said poll­ster J Ann Selzer, who over­saw the sur­vey. “When Trump’s name is men­tioned, the clouds gather.”

In nearly ev­ery mea­sure of his per­for­mance, the poll in­di­cates that Trump’s tu­mul­tuous presi- dency is not wear­ing well with the pub­lic. A 56 per cent ma­jor­ity say they’re more pes­simistic about Trump be­cause of his state­ments and ac­tions since the elec­tion. That’s a huge swing since De­cem­ber when 55 per cent said his state­ments and ac­tions made them more op­ti­mistic about him.

The pub­lic has grown more skep­ti­cal that Trump will de­liver on some of his most am­bi­tious cam­paign prom­ises. Two thirds don’t think he’ll suc­ceed in build- ing a wall along the Mex­i­can bor­der dur­ing his first term. More than half say he won’t be able to re­vive the coal in­dus­try.

A ma­jor­ity - 54 per cent - be­lieve Trump will man­age to cre­ate trade deals more ben­e­fi­cial to the US, but that’s down from 66 per cent in De­cem­ber. There’s divi­sion on whether he’ll be able to bring a sub­stan­tial num­ber of jobs back to Amer­ica, or sig­nif­i­cantly re­form the tax code.

And de­spite his as­sur­ances that he and con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans will re­peal Oba­macare and re­place it with a ‘beau­ti­ful’ new health care bill, 64 per cent of Amer­i­cans say they dis­ap­prove of his han­dling of the is­sue. That’s es­pe­cially sig­nif­i­cant be­cause health care topped un­em­ploy­ment, ter­ror­ism and im­mi­gra­tion as the is­sue poll re­spon­dents chose as the most im­por­tant chal­lenge fac­ing the na­tion right now.

The pub­lic is also skep­ti­cal about Trump’s abil­i­ties as a world leader, with 58 per cent say­ing they dis­ap­prove of the way he han­dles re­la­tions with other coun­tries and 46 per cent dis­ap­pointed in his ac­tions on trade agree­ments.

Amer­i­cans are more pes­simistic about for­eign pol­icy than they were in De­cem­ber. Fifty five per cent now say they ex­pect deal­ings with Ger­many to get worse dur­ing the next four years, up 22 points. The share of poll re­spon­dents who an­tic­i­pate wors­en­ing re­la­tions with the UK, Mex­ico, Cuba and Rus­sia also in­creased by dou­ble dig­its.

The pub­lic is also wary of Trump’s mo­tives in his ne­go­ti­a­tions with other coun­tries. Just 24 per cent said they were ‘very con­fi­dent’ that Trump puts the na­tion’s in­ter­ests ahead of his busi­nesses or fam­ily when deal­ing with for­eign lead­ers.


Traders pass an Amer­i­can flag dis­played out­side of the New York Stock Ex­change (NYSE) on July 3

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