Poll: Mass. Residents More Pessimistic about the Future

Most Massachusetts residents rate the economy as “poor,” and many don’t expect to see a rebound for at least another two years, according to a new Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll.

More than three-fourths of respondents (76 percent) do not believe the recession has ended in Massachusetts, despite economists’ declaring its official end in June 2009. Of those, half think the recession will last more than two years.

The poll also points to a Bay State population that has lost faith in the stock and housing markets, long considered pillars of wealth creation. Only 33 percent of respondents said stocks will be a good investment over the next year, compared to 43 percent a year ago. Only 33 percent said housing prices would rise over the next year, compared to 44 percent last year.

“When will this ever end? That’s what Massachusetts residents are asking,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. “Things have been really bad, but it’s reached another level now -- people have lost hope. No matter what question we ask, there is a thread of economic uncertainty and gloom.”

Continuing a trend seen in Suffolk University/Boston Globe polls over the past three years, residents say they are still saving less and giving less to charity. They also continue to pare back on dining out and traveling. Respondents also worry about maintaining their standard of living and expect they will have to work longer before retiring.

To fix the nation’s ailing economy, an overwhelming majority of respondents – 80 percent – said cutting the national deficit is important. Thirty-five percent supported reducing the deficit by equally cutting spending and raising taxes, while 38 percent thought the same goal could be achieved primarily through spending cuts.

The Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll was conducted Nov. 27-30 using live telephone interviews and includes answers from 400 residents across the state. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent.

The Globe’s complete coverage may be found at www.bostonglobe.com/business. Full poll results will be available at 9 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011, on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310.