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Most Americans Say That A Double-Dip Recession Is Possible: Survey

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Americans are becoming increasingly pessimistic about the direction of the economy, and they're losing faith in the ability of policymakers to help.

Just 9 percent of Americans said they are confident that the economy will not slide back into a recession, according to a Bloomberg national poll released on Wednesday.

Economic growth has been slowing in recent weeks and may be on the verge of stalling or even contracting. Economists say the chances of a double-dip recession have risen to nearly one in three, Reuters reports. They've also cut their economic growth forecasts 40 percent and now predict that the economy will grow an anemic 1.7 percent this year.

That increasing pessimism would seem to be justified by stagnating August retail sales and employers not adding any new jobs as the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent.

Meanwhile, consumer confidence is at its lowest level since April of 2009, posing a risk that consumer spending -- which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy -- will cool.

The Bloomberg poll parallels the results of other reports, which indicate Americans' views on the economy are getting dimmer. According to Gallup, for example, American economic confidence is at its lowest level since February of 2009, when Congress passed the $787 billion stimulus bill to try to spur growth following the financial crisis.

The summer's political wrangling over raising the nation's debt limit may have have soured Americans' views. Economic confidence plummeted 50 percent during the debt ceiling debate in July, according to Gallup.

Americans are not any more optimistic about politicians' abilities to alleviate their economic woes. Fifty-one percent of respondents to the Bloomberg poll said they don't believe that the Obama administration's jobs plan can bring down the 9.1 percent unemployment rate. Seventy-two percent of Americans said the country is on the wrong track, and just 27 percent of Americans said they are better off than they were when President Obama first took office.

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