A larger fraction of Americans consider their financial state to be better than it was a year ago, according to a recent Gallup poll. This is the first time in five years that the share of people who think themselves better off is higher than the amount of people thinking themselves worse off.
Data provided by the survey reveals that 38 percent of American participants think they are in better shape than one year ago, compared to 34 percent who think their situation has deteriorated. The fraction of people who believe things have improved is at its highest since October 2007. Comparatively, 26 percent state they their situation is unchanged.
"Right now it's a more or less a dead heat," Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at personal finance information website Bankrate.com, told U.S. News and World Report. "We've seen some improvement given stronger stock market performance, the turn in the housing market, and better news on the job front."
The recent Gallup poll figures represent a substantial improvement from 2008, when 54 percent of participants said that their situation had deteriorated from the prior year. The following year also created a majority of respondents who felt worse off.
Gallup provided the same survey in May 2012, when 37 percent said their situation was better.
The media outlet reports that two-thirds of consumers predict that they will be in a better place financially one year in the future than they are currently. The fraction of people with this expectation has previously declined to as low as 52 percent during the summer of 2008, as market participants were impacted by the financial crisis and widespread economic challenges.
The U.S. economy will increase its rate of expansion to grow 2.3 percent in 2013, according to the median estimate of economists participating in a USA Today poll. A total of 48 of these market experts contributed to the survey. Their forecast for next year's growth is higher than the 1.5 percent that was experienced during the first half of 2012.
In addition, close to two-thirds of those economists expect that the fiscal cliff will be resolved without providing the economy with significant headwinds.
The economic confidence of many market observers has been bolstered in recent weeks as central banks across the world announced plans to provide further stimulus to the global economy through monetary easing.