The American public may not be feeling better about things, but economists clearly are. Most households think the economy is going in the wrong direction, and consumer confidence in one prominent survey is currently at recession levels. To be sure, there is a heavy political component in many of the surveys. Democrats, for example, are far more upbeat than Republicans regarding the health of the economy, but that sentiment is flipped on its head when Republicans occupy the White House. While economists are also influenced by political beliefs, they presumably rely on hard data and are more objective when presenting their outlooks.