Negative Attitudes Toward Fed Persisted Among Americans in 2017

Americans' confidence in the nation's central bank remains weak a decade after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Thirty-eight percent of people polled in November and December said they were less confident in the Federal Reserve than five years earlier, according to a special report from the University of Michigan's survey of consumers, released Friday. That's less than 41 percent in early 2015 and the 59 percent recorded in late 2011.

In the latest survey, 12 percent of respondents said they had more confidence in the Fed than five years earlier, while 47 percent said their confidence was the same.

As the financial crisis hit in 2007 and 2008, the Fed bore criticism for allowing the U.S. housing bubble to inflate in the preceding years, and then for bailing out large financial institutions such as Bear Stearns Cos.

When Jerome Powell takes over as Fed chairman from Janet Yellen as expected next month, “he will face the challenge of maintaining confidence in the Fed while repeatedly raising interest rates,” survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement.

The report Friday also showed that Americans were less confident in banks, brokerages and insurance companies, while sentiment toward credit unions was positive.

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