During an appearance on "CBS This Morning," Powell said he has seen "stabilization come back in the financial community, housing is now starting to pick up after four years, it's starting to pick up. Consumer confidence is rising."
"Generally we've come out of the dive and we're starting to gain altitude," he said.
However, he said, problems remain.
"The unemployment rate is too high, people are still hurting in housing but I see that we're starting to rise up."
The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff expressed concern about what he saw as Republican nominee Mitt Romney's changing views on domestic issues and foreign affairs.
"I'm not quite sure which Gov. Romney we would be getting with respect to foreign policy," he said, adding that "sometimes I don't sense that he has thought through these issues as thoroughly as he should have."
Powell -- who was noncommittal in June about who he supported -- said he agreed more with Obama's stands on climate change, immigration and education.
Despite his endorsement of the Democratic president, Powell said he remained a Republican.
Powell endorsed Obama in 2008 when U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona was the Republican nominee.
McCain Thursday criticized Powell for endorsing Obama again, during an appearance on a radio talk show hosted by Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade.
"General Powell, you disappoint us and you have harmed your legacy even further by defending what is clearly the most feckless foreign policy in my lifetime," McCain said.