Can you fault Americans for being skeptical, this time around?
Several recent reports have given a lot of reason to feel optimistic about the economy.
At 7%, the unemployment rate is now at its lowest level in five years. The housing sector -- which got us into this mess in the first place -- is bouncing back.Home sales and prices are rising and permits for new home construction are back to 2007 levels.
A CNN poll released last week showed only 24% of the public believe economic conditions are improving, while nearly four-in-ten say the nation's economy is actually getting worse. Meanwhile, the Consumer Confidence Index, calculated by the Conference Board, has declined two months in a row.
The economy still feels depressing because for many people, it is, said Elise Gould, a labor economist at the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute.
"Those at the very top have bounced back, but we have not seen that for people at the middle or at the bottom," she said.