U.S. Standard of Living Improved in 2014

While many Americans believe that unemployment and gridlock in Washington have gone a long way to ruin this year, much of the population does not see it that way. Based on a new Gallup poll, standard of living ratings in the United States improved for 2014.

The research firm’s experts say about the U.S. standard of living:

In line with a recent raft of good economic news — including robust gross domestic product growth in the third quarter and November’s strong jobs report — nearly six in 10 Americans said in November that their standard of living was getting better (58%). This is close to the highest monthly value in the question’s seven-year history (60%), and nearly double the estimates seen at the depths of the recession.

Among other things, the forecast should bode well for consumer spending in the fourth quarter, which is critical to the retail sector, a continuing demand for automobiles and perhaps even a further rebound in housing and home prices.

However, Gallup’s experts point out that the news is not all good for consumer demand improvement:

Even as Gallup’s indicators of the public’s views of the national economy approach new heights, Americans’ views about their own finances and self-reported financial habits have shown, at best, only moderate improvement compared with their two-year averages. Importantly — as has consistently been the case — large majorities of Americans continue to say they are watching their spending very closely (88%) and are cutting back on spending (61%). These attitudes appear to be fundamental to the way Americans approach their spending, and thus are not subject to much change. Meanwhile, many still feel uneasy about their personal financial situation — half of U.S. adults say they would be able to make an emergency purchase, while less than half (47%) say they are feeling pretty good about the amount of money they have to spend. Less than half of Americans also report that they are feeling better about their financial situation (47%) — even as the prices of critical necessities decline.

ALSO READ: America’s 50 Best Cities to Live


The world is getting better, but for some reason Americans are not willing to part with large sums of money. Better to save it for a rainy day.

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