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36

U.S. In Recession

More than three quarters of Americans polled say the United States is in recession and the country was "seriously off on the wrong track"...

More than three quarters of Americans polled say the United States is in recession and the country was "seriously off on the wrong track", according to a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll released on Wednesday.

For the first time since 1993, the percentage of people who say their finances are very or fairly secure falls below 60 percent --to 57 percent, the poll showed.
Across the country, Americans struggling with higher food and energy costs are more worried about their personal finances than at any time since the early 1990s, said the poll.

Nearly two out of five people say the state of their personal finances is fairly shaky or very shaky, the poll found.

Half of those polled said 2008 would be a below-average year for the stock market and 56 percent of registered voters said the economy should be the top priority for the presidential campaign --a shift from December, when the majority said Iraq should be the candidates' focus.

Money worries plague Americans across the financial spectrum. Of those making between 60,000 U.S. dollars and 100,000 dollars a year, 26 percent described their finances as shaky while 10 percent of those making more than 100,000 dollars.

The poll also found a sharp racial disparity in how Americans view their finances.

Although 61 percent of whites and 54 percent of other racial groups polled said their personal economic situation was secure, just 39 percent of African Americans described their finances in positive terms.

More than half of African Americans polled, 53 percent, said their finances were shaky, 34 percent of whites and 42 percent of other ethnic groups polled expressed similar concerns.

The Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, based on telephone interviews May 1 through May 8 with 2,208 adults nationwide, has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.