Most Americans remain optimistic about the future. A 55%-majority believes that the year ahead will be better than 2010. Just 31% say the coming year will be worse. At the beginning of this year, however, the public was far more optimistic. In a January 2010 survey, fully two thirds of Americans (67%) said the new year would be better than the last (2009). Americans are also, on balance, optimistic about their financial futures. Though just 35% of Americans say their personal financial situation is excellent or good, 56% say they think their own economic situation will improve a lot (7%) or some (49%) over the next year. Roughly a quarter (26%) expect their financial situation to get worse, while 14% believe it will stay the same. While optimistic on balance, personal financial expectations have shown no improvement over the course of 2010. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.