A Michigan State University survey finds that half of the state's residents expect to be better off by this time next year. That's despite the fact that 55 percent of state residents think they are worse off now than a year ago.
MSU Economist Charles Ballard directs the survey for the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research. He says people seem to be reacting to improving news about Michigan's economy. For one thing, the Detroit carmakers are out of bankruptcy. Also, the state's unemployment rate has leveled off. Ballard says growing optimism can help fuel a recovery.
"If you sink into a shell and say, 'We're all doomed,' that's bad for the economy. It's sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think things are rotten, you then act in ways that will help make things rotten. If you think things will get better, you will act in ways that will help things get better."
MSU has been conducting the quarterly survey since 1995. The poll also found faith in state government to solve problems is at an all-time low.