Americans are feeling more optimistic about the general direction of the country since the presidential election and have an improved image of President Bush (search), despite continuing doubts about the economy, a poll released Friday found.

Almost half of the voters surveyed, 47 percent, said the country is headed in the right direction and 46 percent said it's on the wrong track, according to the National Annenberg Election Survey (search). Before the election, more than half of voters, 53 percent, said the country was on the wrong track.

Bush's favorable rating, a measure of personal popularity, rose from 47 percent before the election to 56 percent now. And his job approval rose from 49 percent before the election to 53 percent now.

The number of voters who said they expect economic conditions in a year will be much better fell from 62 percent before the election to 52 percent now — with Democrats and supporters of Bush rival John Kerry (search) less optimistic. The number who said those conditions will get worse rose from 11 percent before the election to 24 percent now.

Just over a third, 36 percent, said Bush will do a better job than Kerry would have of preventing jobs from going overseas.

The poll of 1,307 registered voters was taken from Nov. 3-11 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.