Seeking silver lining in 2010 | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 01, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 01, 2010


Seeking silver lining in 2010

The bank account is thin, but the future looks pretty good.
That, oddly enough, is the view of many Americans who predict 2010 will be a better year than this one, even if they fear that the US economy and their own financial circumstances won't improve.
A whopping 82 percent are optimistic about what the new year will bring for their families, according to the latest AP-GfK poll. That sunny outlook seems at odds with other findings.
Nearly two-thirds think their family finances will worsen or stay about the same next year. And fewer than half think the nation's economy will improve in 2010, even though Americans rated 2009 as a huge downer.
Mari Flanigan of South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is one of those who feel fairly optimistic that things will go better at a personal level in 2010 even though her financial situation might grow worse.
Flanigan, 36, is unemployed after selling a family business that faced increasing competition.
"Financially, I'm scared," she said in an interview.
The poll found that nearly three-fourths of Americans think 2009 was a bad year for the country, which was rocked by job losses, home foreclosures and economic sickness. Forty-two percent rated it "very bad."
That's clearly worse than in 2006, the last time a similar poll was taken. The survey that year found that 58 percent of Americans felt the nation had suffered a bad year, and 39 percent considered it a good year.
Fewer than half as many people, 16 percent, said their family had a "very good year" in 2009 as said that in 2006.
Behind the gloominess, however, are more hopeful views that seem to reflect Americans' traditional optimism or, perhaps, wishful thinking.
Three in five Americans said their own family had a good year in 2009.
Some 72 percent of Americans said they're optimistic about what 2010 will bring for the country. Even more are hopeful about what the year will bring for their families.
The AP-GfK Poll was conducted Dec 10-14 by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Media and involved landline and cell phone interviews of 1,001 adults nationwide. It has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

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