Consumers hearing less negative news about the economy

While there continue to be indications the economy has not yet reached recovery mode, a new study indicates Americans are hearing less bad news about its health.

According to the Pew Research Center, 56 percent of consumers say the news they hear about the nation's economy is a mixture of positive and negative developments, with 36 percent saying the news is mostly bad. This is the first time since May that more people have said economic news is mixed as opposed to poor.

In addition to getting consumers' general views about whether the news they've heard about the economy has been good, bad or mixed, it also questioned respondents about specific segments. For example, 43 percent said the news they were hearing about financial markets was mixed with 38 percent saying it was bad. The last time the survey was conducted, 50 percent said it was bad and 41 percent said it was mixed.

Similarly, with regard to news about retail sales, 51 percent said the news they were hearing was mostly positive. In the last poll, just 31 percent said the news about retail was good.

The reason why news has been good may have something to do with retailers offering low-interest financing deals on expensive items. Consumers with clean credit scores have been able to capitalize on these discounts.