Revelers stand in the rain waiting to bring in the new year on New Year's Eve in Times Square in New York City on December 31, 2018. A Gallup poll found Americans were optimistic about business, but pessimistic about the prospect of world peace in 2019. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Americans are generally optimistic about U.S. business in 2019, but a majority expect a lack of peace and political cooperation at home and abroad, a Gallup poll released Wednesday indicates.
The poll, conducted by asking Americans between Dec. 3 and Dec. 12 to predict the direction seven aspects of the country or world will take in 2019, found that Americans were optimistic about employment and stocks, and they were pessimistic about the crime rate, world peace and political cooperation.
This was the first year Gallup asked Americans for their predictions about the stock market's performance with 54 percent predicting 2019 will be "a year when the stock market rises" and 43 percent envisioning "a year of a falling stock market."
On Wednesday, the year of trading began with the Wall Street stumbling early in the day before closing with minor gains.
A majority of respondents believed 2019 will be "a year of full or increasing employment" at 59 percent," while 39 percent expected "a year of rising unemployment."
Americans were least optimistic about the prospect of 2019 bringing "a year of political cooperation" with 11 percent predicting such a result while 87 percent expect "a year of political conflict."
The poll was conducted about a week before the government shut down for the third time in 2018. The partial closure entered its 12th day on Wednesday, with no deal in a meeting between President Donald Trump and congressional leaders.
Further, 28 percent of Americans predicted "a peaceful year, more or less free of international disputes" while 70 percent expected "a troubled year with much international discord," while 41 percent expected "a year of falling crime rates" versus 57 percent who expected them to rise.
Americans were split on the issue of whether America would have a prosperous year economically and whether the nation's influence would increase, as 49 percent voted in the affirmative and the negative in both cases.
These two issues also saw the greatest divides along partisan lines with 79 percent of Republicans saying they believe America's power would increase versus 22 percent of Democrats, and 75 percent of Republicans predicting a year of economic prosperity, while 29 percent of Democrats felt the same.
The poll was conducted with a random sample of 1,025 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., and featured a 4 percent margin of error with a 95 percent confidence level.