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Fuel prices contribute to bad attitude on economy

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A new national poll released today by CNN and Opinion Research Corp. showed that gasoline prices may be contributing to Americans’ bad attitude on the economy.

The percentage of people who rate the nation’s current economic conditions as poor rose in February to 84, an increase of nine percentage points, with the majority of respondents identifying unemployment as the nation’s biggest problem.

“In January, 24 percent of the public thought that economic conditions in the country were good – not a great number, but the highest it had been since 2008,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Now that number has dropped to 16 percent.”
The survey, which indicated that two-thirds of all Americans say the rising price of fuel has caused a financial burden for their families, also showed that eight in 10 respondents wouldn’t be surprised if the cost of gasoline hit $5 a gallon by the end of 2011.

“Gas prices, not surprisingly, are hitting lower-income Americans the hardest,” said Holland, adding that 77 percent of workers earning less than $50,000 a year indicated that their financial conditions are worsening as fuel prices skyrocket.

Only 54 percent of higher-income Americans have a similar view, Holland said.

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