Hopes for Higher Home Values Ease Pessimism: Survey

(CNBC) -- The CNBC All-America Economic Survey finds a measurable drop of extreme pessimism on the economy, but no real rise in optimism.

The 49 percent of Americans saying the economy is poor has fallen to its lowest level since the recession began in 2008, though it remains high. The result has been a rise those saying the economy is “only fair” while just 10 percent of the public combines to say the economy is good or excellent. 

Behind the decline in extreme pessimism, Americans’ expectations for the value of their home prices in the next 12 months turned positive for the first time since 2007 even while it is just barely positive at 0.4 percent.

By comparison, before the housing crisis began in 2007, Americans believed their home values would rise as much as 4 percent in a year.

Inflation fears have also eased, with Americans expecting prices to rise around 4 percent, down from 4.8 percent in the March survey. And hopes for wage gains among American in the next 12 months have stabilized at around 2.1 percent. This number routinely was above 4 percent before the recession, but sank as low as 1.3 percent during the depths of the downturn.

However, American attitudes towards the stock market remain challenged. One in five Americans believe that only people with inside information can profit in the stock market and a similar percentage think that only experts can make money.

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