Nearly half of Americans, 45 percent, believe the economy will stay the same in 2011, the Harris Poll has found. The Harris Poll is conducted by pollster Harris Interactive.
Twenty-nine percent of Americans believe the economy will get better while 26 percent say it will get worse.
Despite those somewhat dour sentiments, there seem to be indications that the market believes the economy may pick up speed next year: Treasury prices have been dropping throughout December and the Standard & Poor's 500 index is up 6.6 percent this month as investors bet on a continued economic recovery, Bloomberg.com reported Wednesday in "U.S. stocks rise, extending biggest December rally since 1991."
Unfortunately unemployment remains high, at 9.8 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which likely accounts for the wait-and-see attitude most Americans have regarding economic improvements next year.
Among the other findings, most Americans say they will save more in 2011, 40 percent, and 22 percent say they plan to get rid of credit card debt.
Eight percent said they will invest in less risky investments.
Maybe the small numbers of investors planning to invest in less risky assets next year reflects the more enthusiastic attitude the markets seem to be taking. Plus, the bond market, traditionally the safer place to invest, may be a hazardous place to be in the next couple of years.
What are your predictions for the economy?