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New president   A highly divided country

Americans can't decide is Trump good or bad for economy

TrumpAmericans are split almost evenly on their views of President Donald Trump's handling of the economy, with 48% approving and 47% disapproving.

Of four key focuses of the new administration, the economy is the only issue with more Americans approving than disapproving.

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A higher percentage of Americans disapprove than approve of the way Trump is handling foreign trade, immigration and foreign affairs.

For these issues, more than half of Americans disapprove. Trump gets his highest approval for how he handles the economy and his lowest for how he handles foreign affairs.

The approval rating of Trump's handling of the economy exceeds his overall job approval rating of 42%, which is down three percentage points from the historically low job approval rating of 45% that he had when he began his presidency.

Trump scores lower on his handling of the economy and foreign affairs than Barack Obama and George W. Bush did at the beginning of their presidencies.

At the outset of the Obama administration, 59% of Americans approved of his handling of the economy, and 54% approved of his handling of foreign affairs.

The comparable ratings at the beginning of Bush's presidency were 53% and 46%, respectively. Compared with Bill Clinton, Trump has a lower approval rating on foreign affairs but gets a slightly higher rating on the economy.

Approval ratings regarding the economy and foreign affairs among those in the opposing party are lower for Trump compared with the opposing-party approval ratings of his three predecessors at the start of their presidencies.

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