Taking the Pulse of Main Street: No Economic Expansion Yet

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Despite government assertions to the contrary, visitors to MoneyRates.com and GetRichSlowly.org agree with economists who say that sustained financial recovery is not yet on the horizon. Nearly three-fourths of survey respondents (71 percent) still see the economy as stagnant or falling.

MoneyRates.com and GetRichSlowly.org

Main Street seems to be seeing the same thing as the academics--that there is not yet overwhelming evidence of a recovery.

While the Obama Administration argues that federal stimulus efforts have been successful and the economy is on the rebound, visitors to MoneyRates.com and GetRichSlowly.org beg to disagree. These two financial education sites recently ran a joint online poll asking about the economic recovery and heard from 1,861 readers. Their prognosis? The economy isn't healthy yet.

That doesn't surprise Richard Barrington, MoneyRates.com personal finance expert. "Main Street seems to be seeing the same thing as the academics--that there is not yet overwhelming evidence of a recovery." Barrington notes that the National Bureau of Economic Research recently came to the same conclusion: that it is too early to declare the recession over.

The websites' poll asked, "Where do you think the economy sits right now?" MoneyRates.com and GetRichSlowly.org visitors responded:

  • Strong growth--full steam ahead! (2 percent)
  • On solid ground and growing some, thank goodness. (27 percent)
  • Stagnant. Not growing, but at least not getting worse. (41 percent)
  • Not horrible, but looks like it's going downhill. (18 percent)
  • Free falling--I'm bracing for the worst. (12 percent)

With nearly three-fourths of respondents (71 percent) stating that the economy is stagnant or worsening, it doesn't appear that the so-called Great Recession will be over any time soon. Without a clear indication of economic recovery, taxpayers can expect continued government stimulus efforts. In addition, consumer confidence, business hiring decisions and banking decisions on high yield savings account rates, money market account rates and CD rates all hinge on expectations about economic cycles.

Although the slow recovery can be discouraging, especially for those facing unemployment or foreclosure, Barrington sees a silver lining. "A slow-developing recovery could be more sustainable and might help people retain the lessons about controlling spending and saving money a little longer."

Further analysis by Barrington on the implications of the poll results can be found in his article, "Joint Poll Finds the US in Economic No-Man's Land."

MoneyRates.com is a consumer information web site providing tips on saving and banking as well as interest rates on more than 200 banking products. It has been a leading source of information on bank rates, personal finance, savings accounts and investing since 1999. Visitors to MoneyRates.com can research the highest rates on certificates of deposits, money market accounts and high-yield savings accounts.

GetRichSlowly.org is an online community devoted to sensible personal finance. Since 2006, GetRichSlowly.org has provided thousands of active readers with a forum to learn about and discuss saving money, eliminating debt, finding the best high yield savings accounts and pursuing practical paths to accumulating wealth. The site is among "The Top 100 Personal Finance Websites," according to Liz Weston of MSN, and has been named "The Most Inspiring Money Blog" by CNN's Money magazine.

Richard Barrington is available for interviews on this topic and other topics relating to personal saving and investing. To interview Richard, please contact:

Jessica Austin
pr(at)moneyrates.com
pr(at)getrichslowly.org
650-578-6880

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Jessica Austin

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