Survey says good life in store for US

WASHINGTON: Good old US optimism prevails, according to Weber

Shandwick Worldwide's third Mood of America survey. This latest survey

in the series queried 1,060 consumers online.

By a five-to-one margin (41% to 8%), survey respondents said they were

more likely to see their quality of life improve rather than deteriorate

over the next four months. Two weeks earlier, WSW data showed optimism

triumphing at just a two-to-one margin (29% to 14%). The uptick, the

agency said, bodes well for the holiday retail season and consumer

confidence going into the New Year.

Greg Schneiders, director of the WSW research division and CEO of SWR

Worldwide, a Weber Shandwick company, called the results "surprising,"

but attributed the optimism to the rallying effect of the war on


"People are feeling better in general about their country and the

situation even though, ironically, we are facing economic and security

threats," said Schneiders.

Also improved, though not as dramatically, were the agency's statistics

for American financial expectations for the next four months. Three

weeks ago, 35% of respondents expected their economic situation to

improve, and 17% expected it to decline. In the latest survey, though,

42% expected an improvement, and 13% expected a decline.

In an attached list of "winners and losers," WSW cited a Gallup survey

in which the news media came in last in an approval ranking of

industries or government entities responding to or handling the war on


The 43% approval rating and 54% disapproval rating referenced by WSW,

however, stand in contrast to a poll conducted by the Pew Research

Center for the People & the Press, which reported a surge in public

attitude about the role and performance of the news media. Of the Pew

poll's 1,500 respondents, 75% rated coverage of the war on terror as

good or excellent.

Tomorrow, WSW hopes to release the fourth set of results in the Mood of

America series.

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