Poll: Recession May Be Over Officially, But Families Still Feel It

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Earlier this month, as economic stimulus legislation was being approved on Capitol Hill, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan pronounced the recession over. While the timing of the bill's passage seemed curious to some, many Americans think an economic boost is still needed.

Over half of Americans interviewed in the latest FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll say it feels like the country is still in a recession to them and their family. With only slight regional and income level differences, 59 percent of the public think the recession continues. Of those remaining, more believe there never really was a recession at all (20 percent) than think the recession happened and is now over (13 percent).

Democrats are much more likely than Republicans to think we're still in a recession (68 percent to 50 percent) and Independents are in between at 61 percent.

Here are highlights on some other related questions:

• 53 percent of the public is either "very" or "somewhat" confident in the stock market.

• The greatest proportion of Americans who put some of their income into saving, save less than 10 percent. Sixteen percent have no savings at all, while three percent claims to save more than 50 percent of their income.

• Making home renovations and buying a car tie for the top slot on the list of next major purchases for about 2 in 10 Americans. Next on the list is a new home (12 percent).

• About two-thirds of us plan to take a summer vacation this year, and most vacationers plan to travel domestically (83 percent). Half plan to travel by car and about one-third by plane.

Polling was conducted by telephone March 12-13, 2002 in the evenings. The sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ± 3 percentage points.

1. Some experts say the country's economic recession is over, while others say the country never really was in a recession. How did it feel to you and your family — the recession happened and is over, there wasn't a recession at all, or do you feel like we’re still in a recession?

2. Do you plan to take a vacation this summer?

3. (If yes, n=579) Are you planning to vacation in the United States, or internationally?

4. (If yes, n=579) And how do you plan to travel to your vacation destination? (Open Ended)

5. On the average, what percentage of your income do you put into some type of savings plan?

6. What is the next major purchase or item you plan to make when you have some extra money? (DO NOT READ)

7. How confident are you in the U.S. stock market?