Voters Think the Economy’s in a Slump – But, Not if They Trust MSNBC, PBS/NPR

Craig Bannister | January 3, 2024
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U.S. voters are much more likely to think the economy is in a slump than they are to believe it’s in recovery – unless MSNBC or PBS/NPR is their most trusted source of TV news or commentary, a new national survey reveals.

Nearly half (46%) of registered voters think the U.S. economy is currently experiencing either a recession (30%) or a depression (16%), while just 29% believe it’s in a state of recovery, according to a Suffolk University/USA TODAY survey, conducted December 26-29, 2023.

But, voters who say that either MSNBC or PBS/NPR is their most-trusted source of news and commentary have a must brighter view of today’s economy, however. Among those who most trust MSNBC, just one in ten (9%) believe the economy’s in either a recession (3%) or depression (6%), while three-fourths (74%) think the U.S. is enjoying economic recovery.

Likewise, only a quarter (24%) of those who place their faith in what PBS/NPR tells them think the U.S. is suffering a recession (21%) or depression (3%), while half (51%) believe there’s a recovery taking place.

In contrast, two-thirds of those who rely on Fox News Channel (65%) for honest news and commentary think there’s a recession (26%) or depression (39%) afoot, while a mere six percent (6%) see a recovery taking place.

Indeed, Americans’ financial circumstances continue to be worse during Pres. Joe Biden’s presidency that they were during the previous administration led by Donald Trump:

  • Inflation thus far under Biden is on pace to increase three times as much as it did during Trump's full, four-year term.
  • While gas prices held steady under Pres. Donald Trump (down four cents a gallon), they’ve surged 42% in the first 34 months of Pres. Joe Biden’s term.
  • After accounting for inflation, real wages earned by Americans have declined under Biden, from a median of $373 to $365 a week. Under Trump, however, real wages rose from $352 to $373.
  • Mortgage rates today are more than twice the average rate home buyers paid when Trump left office.
  • Americans’ average savings rate has declined to a quarter of what is was under Trump (from 13.4% to 3.8%).


A recent Rasmussen survey found that 41% of American adults say their financial situation has gotten worse, while just 17% report that it’s improved.

What’s more, half (49%) of today's likely voters think Pres. Biden's handling of the economy has been "poor," while 37% give it a positive rating, another Rasmussen survey found.

Biden's handling of the economy would've been rated much worse, if not for Democrat voters.

Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Republicans and 55% of unaffiliated voters give Biden a poor rating on the economy, compared to 19% of Democrats. And, while 62% of Democrats rate Biden either good or excellent on his handling of the economy, only 16% of Republicans and 29% of unaffiliated voters agree.

The business and economic reporting of CNSNews is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.