Investor confidence in Obama plummets, new poll shows

WASHINGTON -- President Obama's standing with global investors plummeted over the last two months amid fiscal fights and the flawed roll-out of the healthcare reform website, with just 38% of respondents in a new poll viewing him favorably.

The figure in the Bloomberg Global Poll, released Friday, was down sharply from a 50% favorable rating in mid-September.

The drop echoes Obama's plunging approval rating in other polls in recent weeks after problems with the new website that launched Oct. 1.

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Obama had a 41% approval rating in a CNN/ORC poll released Thursday, his lowest since taking office, and the president has reached new lows in other major opinion polls.

The 750 global investors polled by Bloomberg this month had a worse view of congressional Republicans than of Obama, giving them just a 19% favorable rating. The September poll did not ask a similar question.

The latest poll showed that political gridlock in Washington on fiscal issues now was seen as the biggest risk to the global economy.

In September, 32% of respondents said the slowing Chinese economy was the biggest threat, with Washington gridlock second at 26%.

Now, after the 16-day partial government shutdown in October, those positions are reversed: 35% said gridlock on fiscal issues was the top risk, with 26% listing the Chinese economy.

A majority of respondents -- 52% -- said another shutdown was likely in the next six months. In the September poll, 55% said they were fairly or very confident a shutdown would be avoided.

Despite some improving economic data, the poll showed investors had a worse view of the U.S. recovery.

About 54% said the U.S. economy was improving, while 13% said it was deteriorating. In September, nearly two thirds -- 64% -- said the economy was improving and just 10% said it was deteriorating.

That view was reflected in opinions on when the Federal Reserve would start reducing its monthly bond-buying stimulus program.

In the September poll, about 38% expected the Fed to start tapering that month, and nearly three-quarters expected the reductions to come this year.

The new poll showed just 5% expect the Fed to start tapering at its next meeting, in December. The top response was evenly split: Forty percent expect the action to take place in March, while the same percentage expected it to take place "later than March 2014."


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