I am writing this in January 2015: our most recent GDP data is for 2014 III, and the recession ended 21 quarters ago in 2009 III.
I can't document this, but I've seen surveys like this over the last few decades, so it's not unusual.
Why are peoples' perceptions so divorced from reality? Here's some thoughts.
- Maybe people don't know what a recession is?
- Maybe people are inclined towards pessimism?
- It is a FOXNews poll. Perhaps the respondents are biased against Obama? (Even so, I don't think that explains the existence of results like this going back for many years).
- Perhaps their definition of a recession involves knowledge of anyone in their extended network who has been hurt by the economy?
- Perhaps our threshold for feeling comfortable is higher than an economy is generally capable of achieving?