LOS ANGELES: Six out of ten Americans are dissatisfied with George W Bush's handling of the economy and are expecting a recession within the next year, according to a joint survey conducted by Bloomberg.com and the Los Angeles Times.

In total, just 38% of the 1,373 people surveyed approved of the president's management of the economy, compared with 57% who did not.

Among those earning under $40,000 (£20k; €29.8k) a year, 71% predicted a recession, compared with around half where salaries were above $100,000 pa.

Despite the fact that the unemployment rate is at a five-year low and 180,000 new jobs were created in March, there was also an eleven-point drop to 57% in the number of people who thought the economy was doing well.

A slight majority favoured an extension to Bush's current range of tax cuts, though this result was most pronounced among those in the $100,000+ earnings bracket.

One in five people also blamed the government for the much publicized increase in mortgage defaults, with almost 40% blaming lenders and around 30% the borrowers themselves.

By contrast with the national financial outlook, 64% of those surveyed described their personal finances as 'very' or 'fairly' secure, although 35% described them as 'shaky'.

Karlyn Bowman, a polling expert at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, said: "People tend to be pretty optimistic about their own situation, but when it comes to the larger economy they're much more pessimistic.

"The public's just in a very sour mood because Iraq continues to cast a pall over everything."

Data sourced from Bloomberg.com (USA); additional content by WARC staff