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63% of Middle Class Thinks U.S. is Back in Recession

A majority, 63%, of middle-class Americans thinks that the U.S. is in a doubledip recession, the First Command Financial Behaviors Index shows, up from 50% who thought the U.S. had reverted back into recession last summer.

Among those who believe the country is in a recession, 75% think it will be more than a year before the economy regains strength, and 20% think it will take more than three years, according to the index, based on a survey of 1,000 consumers by Sentient Decision Science.

“Americans aren’t looking for a meaningful recovery anytime soon,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Services. “The index reveals a widespread belief that the U.S. has already experienced a recession and a short-lived recovery and is now experiencing a second recession. This conviction is being fueled by a host of pressing economic worries that do not come with quick resolutions, further intensifying consumer uncertainty and concern.”

When asked what is the cause of the weak economic growth, 69% pointed to unemployment. Fifty-five percent pegged the blame on the weak housing market, 54% noted global debt, 48% said slowed consumer spending, and 41% earmarked low consumer confidence.

The survey also found that many middle-class people are trying to improve their own personal finances by saving more, spending less and cutting debt.