U.S. Markets closed

NH poll shows optimism about finances improving

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- A poll shows New Hampshire residents are getting more optimistic about their finances.

In the Business and Industry Association Report on Consumer Confidence, 33 percent of New Hampshire adults surveyed said they are better off now than they were a year ago, 30 percent said they are worse off, and 37 percent said things are about the same. This measure has steadily improved throughout 2011 and 2012 and is at its highest level since September 2007.

The poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center says nearly half of those surveyed think businesses in the state will enjoy good times financially; 27 percent think they will experience bad times; and 27 percent anticipate mixed conditions.

The BIA says these figures are consistent with views prior to the 2008 recession.

"Nearly half of New Hampshire residents believe the state's economic climate is good and will remain steady, and that's a good sign," said BIA President Jim Roche. "I believe that reflects confidence that our state's elected leaders will continue to work together, in a bipartisan fashion, to create business friendly policy that moves the state's economy forward."

The beliefs of New Hampshire residents about the long-term prospects about the U.S economy remain pessimistic. Only 26 percent of New Hampshire residents believe that the U.S. economy will enjoy continuous good times over the next five years, 41 expect periods of widespread unemployment and depression, and 32 see a mix of good and bad conditions.

The phone poll of 513 residents was conducted July 29-Aug. 14. It had a sampling margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.