Majority feel economy won’t improve over next year

While some experts are optimistic about the economy turning around in 2012, a majority of consumers believe the country's financial system will still be in the doldrums this time next year, a new poll indicates.

According to Gallup, 61 percent of Americans believe economic conditions will not improve or even worsen by this time next year.

When asked to compare today's economy to where it stood a year ago, most people said it's no better today. Forty-two percent said it's worse and 35 percent believed it's about the same, the study found.

Further, even though the recession ended in 2009, the poll found that 80 percent of Americans believe the country is still in the midst of an economic downturn.

"The lack of consistent economic progress since 2009 has dashed Americans' optimism that things will get better in the near future," Gallup stated.

Consumers can make sure they stay in good financial standing by paying things on time and keeping track of their credit reports.