U.S. consumers were slightly less pessimistic about the economy and their personal finances in the latest poll from Investor's Business Daily and TIPP, a unit of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence.
The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index rose 2%, posting 46 points in September from 45.1 points in August. Readings above 50 indicate optimism, while those below 50 indicate pessimism.
The latest results were based on a national poll of 904 adults from Aug. 24 to Aug. 28, with a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.
The index is 0.9 points below its 12-month average of 46.9 points, but above its reading of 44.4 in December 2007, when the economy entered the recession.
"Despite a modest improvement in confidence, to many, the weak economic recovery continues to feel like a recession," said Raghavan Mayur, president of TIPP. "For example, 58% think that the U.S. is still in a recession. While 51% feel the economy is improving, 48% think the economy is not improving. Twenty-five percent of households have at least one person looking for full-time employment."
The six-month economic outlook, a measure of how consumers feel about the economy's prospects in the next six months, was up 0.2% to 45.9 points.
The personal-finance outlook, a measure of how Americans feel about their own finances in the next six months, rose 0.9% to 54.3 points.
Confidence in U.S. economic policies, a gauge of views regarding how government economic policies are working, was up 5.6% to 37.8 points.