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Americans Split Over Whether Recovery Will Endure

Despite recent improvements in the economy, Americans are divided about whether the upswing will continue for the rest of this year, In fact, Americans are split about evenly, a new survey shows.

About half of those surveyed are confident that the recovery will last through 2012, and half are not, according to Bankrate‘s Financial Security Index survey for March.

The telephone survey of 1,006 adults, conducted in March by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, has a margin of sampling error of four percentage points.

Differences in outlook depended on age and income. Consumers who are more comfortable with their level of savings and debt now, compared with a year ago, tend to be under age 50, have a college education and annual household income of $75,000 of above.

Those who are less comfortable about their savings and debt, however, tend to be 50 and older, have no more than a high school education and household income of less than $30,000.

And among retirees, those saying their financial situation is worse now than a year ago outnumber those saying it is better by about three to one.

Even though unemployment has declined to 8.3 percent, job security still weighs on the outlook of many Americans. The survey found that 21 percent feel more secure about their jobs than a year ago — an improvement over a low of 13 percent reported in November. Yet, about the same proportion — 20 percent — say they feel less secure about their jobs. (The majority of consumers said they felt about the same.)

Do you feel you are better off financially than you were a year ago? Are you optimistic that the economic recovery will continue?

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