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 Free Fall (TIME, 09-07-98)

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Poll: Less Optimism About Economic Future After Stock Market Turmoil

Fluctuations have not hurt Clinton's approval rating

By Keating Holland/CNN

WASHINGTON (Sept. 2) -- The recent fluctuations in the stock market have made Americans significantly less optimistic about the country's economic future, but have not affected the public's opinion of the current state of the economy or how Bill Clinton is handling his job as president, according to the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll.

Only 45 percent of all Americans think that the economy is getting better, down from 69 percent who felt that way in March. But most Americans predict that the economy will not go into recession in the next 12 months, and only 37 percent say that the stock market's wild ride have made them feel less confident in about the nation's economy.

Even fewer -- 27 percent -- say that the market's ups and downs have made them feel less confident about their own personal financial situation. And only 4 percent of the general public forecast a crash by the end of the year; nearly half say that the market will stabilize about where it is now, and a quarter say it will go up.

Among stock owners (i.e. Americans who say they or their spouse have any money invested in an individual stock, a stock mutual fund, or a self-directed 401-K or IRA), just 4 percent say they took money out of the market in the past week, and 71 percent say they never seriously considered doing so.

As for Clinton, his approval rating is at 62 percent -- exactly where it was before the market's gyrations.

The survey of 606 adult Americans, including 387 who own stocks, was conducted Sept. 1, 1998 and has a margin of sampling error of +/- 4 percentage points.

Clinton Approval Rating
Now
August 21-23
62%
62%
Economic Conditions

Excellent
Good
Only fair
Poor

Now
11%
54%
25%
9%
March
20%
46%
27%
7%
Economic Conditions

Getting better
Getting worse

Now
45%
41%
March
69%
21%
Recession During Next Twelve Months
Very likely
Fairly likely
Not likely
12%
28%
55%
Investing in Stock Market

Good idea
Bad idea

Now
46%
48%
April
65%
28%
Are You Personally Concerned By Stock Market?
Very concerned
Somewhat concerned
Not concerned
22%
37%
40%
Concern About Stock Market Compared To Last Month
A lot more
A little more
Not more
20%
36%
41%
Stock Market By Year's End
Crash
Drop
Stabilize
Rise
4%
20%
48%
24%
Less Confident About Nation's Economy?
Yes
No
37%
59%
Less Confident About Personal Finances?
Yes
No
27%
69%
Considered Postponing A Big Purchase?
Yes
No
14%
82%
Considered Shifting Money Out of Stock Market?
Yes
No
22%
71%
Stock owners only: Sampling error: +/- 6 percentage points
Changes In Stock Investments Over Past Week
Put money into market
Taken money out of market
No change in investments
6%
4%
86%
Stock owners only: Sampling error: +/- 6 percentage points
Should U.S. Continue To Support Yeltsin?

Yes
No

Now
51%
35%
1993
62%
23%

In Other News

Wednesday September 2, 1998

No Settlement In Independent Counsel Dispute
Clinton Defends His Lewinsky Speech
Poll: Less Optimism About Economic Future After Stock Market Turmoil
First Lady Praises Northern Ireland Women As Peacemakers
GOP Moderate, Conservative Split Over Tax Cuts Amid Volatile Markets
White House Denies Burton's Claims

Election '98
Nevada, Florida Voters Set November Matchups
Florida Primary Results
Nevada Primary Results


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