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New Pew poll shows surprisingly fast turnaround in Americans' view of the economy

For the first time since 2007, a majority of Americans hold a favorable opinion about the economy, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

For the first time since the so-called Great Recession, a majority of Americans believe the U.S. economy is in good shape, a new poll revealed Monday.

According to a new Pew Research Center survey, 58 percent of Americans said the current economic situation is "very or somewhat good," while 40 percent said it’s bad. At this time last year, only 44 percent of Americans described the economy as good, while 54 percent said it was in bad shape.

“This is the most positive assessment of U.S. economic conditions since 2007, and only the second time that half or more of those surveyed have given the economy a thumbs-up,” the Pew report stated. “[T]he current rosy assessment stands in stark contrast to where opinion stood immediately after the beginning of the financial crisis in spring 2008.”

In addition to this year marking the first time in a decade that a majority of Americans viewed the economy favorably, it also marks the largest one-year improvement in public sentiment about the economy — a 14-point leap — in the history of Pew’s research.

In 2008, only 20 percent of Americans said the economy was good. But for a majority of people polled, those days are distant memory — and the positive perspective is bipartisan.

Nearly the same share of Republicans and Democrats — 61 percent and 60 percent, respectively — shared that they believe today’s economic climate is very or somewhat good. Fifty-four percent of independents said the economy is good.

Of the several age demographics Pew surveyed, only those in the 18-to-29 age range fell short of a majority: 49 percent said the economy was very or somewhat good. Sixty-one percent of people ages 30 to 49 had a favorable view of the economy and 59 percent of people ages 50 and older felt the same way.

“In the past year, perception of the economy has improved across all age groups. Positive views have gained by 7 percentage points among younger people, by 16 points among middle-aged Americans and by 15 points among older people,” the report stated.

Even 51 percent those earning less than $30,000 per year and 55 percent of those who have only a high school diploma (or less) said the economy was in good shape.

Pew surveyed 1,505 people by phone between Feb. 16 and March 15.

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