Gallup's latest survey of Americans' financial concerns reveals that, yes, the economy really is recovering, and Americans' financial woes are easing. Of those surveyed by Gallup, only 48 percent were very or moderately worried about maintaining their standard of living, down from 54 percent in 2010. Fifty-nine percent were very or moderately worried about saving for retirement, down from 66 percent in 2010. And 53 percent were worried about unexpected medical costs, down from 61 percent in 2010:
This tallies with other empirical evidence about the wider American financial situation. Household debt levels have fallen substantially. Unemployment has fallen substantially. Bankruptcies have become more infrequent. The number of underwater mortgages (where homeowners owe the bank more than their home is worth) has dramatically fallen. And GDP growth remains positive and steady. Yes, it's a slow recovery — worries are still elevated over where they were at the start of last decade. But a slow recovery is better than no recovery.