The pessimistic sentiment could be a hangover from the financial crisis 10 years ago, according to Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com.
“One of the long-running themes of the U.S. economy [has been] income inequality, as well as the damage that was done by the financial crisis and Great Recession,” Hamrick said. “Some of those undercurrents continue to shape what we’re experiencing today.”
More from Personal Finance:
Getting rid of debt is a pressing issue for Gen X and younger boomers as retirement nears
Good news for borrowers: There are new ways to improve your credit score
Estimated taxes are due Jan. 15 and you don’t get a reprieve despite the government shutdown
Those who are optimistic about 2019 mostly did not credit Washington politicians, according to the survey. Instead, they cited other reasons, such as making more money, with 52 percent, followed by having less debt, and earning more from savings and investments.