U.S. consumers were less pessimistic about the economy and their personal finances in the latest poll from Investor's Business Daily and TIPP but were still more downbeat than when the economy first entered the recession.
The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index improved 7.8% in November to 41.4 points from 38.4 points in October.
Yet, the index is 3.6 points below its 12-month average of 45 points and three points below its reading of 44.4 in December 2007, when the economy entered the recession. Readings above 50 indicate optimism, while those below 50 indicate pessimism. TIPP is a unit of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence.
Consumer confidence is in the negative for the thirteenth month in a row, with 55% of consumers believing the U.S. is still in recession, said Raghavan Mayur, president of TIPP, in a statement.
The latest results were based on a national poll of 919 adults from Oct. 26 to Oct. 30, with a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.
"While 57% (of consumers polled) feel the economy is not improving, 41% think the economy is improving," Mr. Mayur said. "Seven percent of households have at least one person whose work hours have been cut or limited to fewer than 30 hours per week, as a result of ObamaCare, in the past 12 months."
The six-month economic outlook, a measure of how consumers feel about the economy's prospects in the next six months, improved 6.4% to 38.1 points.
The personal-finance outlook, a measure of how Americans feel about their own finances in the next six months, grew 8.1% to 52.2 points.
Confidence in U.S. economic policies, a gauge of views regarding how government economic policies are working, was up 8.3% to 33.8 points.