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Only farms and restaurants are getting a thumbs-up from a majority of Americans right now

A new Gallup survey asked American consumers how they feel about various business industries. They didn't hold back.
A combine harvests corn in a field near Coy, Ark., on Aug. 16, 2012.
A combine harvests corn in a field near Coy, Ark., on Aug. 16, 2012.Danny Johnston / AP file

Farms and restaurants are now the only parts of the U.S. economy that a majority of Americans view in a positive light, according to a new Gallup survey.

Nearly every other industry, from banking to education to movies and sports, sees fewer than half of Americans holding positive views of them now, compared to one year ago.

In Gallup's study, the organization asks survey participants to rate various business industries using a five-point scale that ranges from "very positive" to "very negative." Only one industry — computers — sees an even split, with 50% of survey respondents holding a positive impression and the rest either viewing it neutrally or negatively. But that is down from a record 75% positive ranking for the industry in 2017.

Overall, the average positive rating across 25 industries has fallen to 36% — near the 34% low seen in 2008, Gallup said.

No business sectors saw a significant uptick in favorable reviews over the past year, the polling group found. Notably, the positive rating for the grocery industry tumbled 14 points from last year, in tandem with the gradual increase in food prices.

Gallup describes the latest survey results as being emblematic of the dour mood American consumers are in right now, thanks in part to high inflation and economic uncertainty. Inflation in the U.S. has been sitting at a 40-year high for most of the year, making it more costly for people to maintain their standard of living.

Some of the industries with the most negative ratings are oil and gas at 62%. At 47%, health care and education just miss the majority-negative cut.

Farming, which includes agriculture, and restaurants have been consistently top-ranked industries since Gallup began the poll in 2001. In this latest survey, the restaurant industry was ranked highly among 60% of respondents and farming/agriculture landed at 57%. Grocery has also been a top-rated business sector, and while it saw a heavy decline in the past year, at 40% positive, it still ranks higher than many others.

The federal government has been the lowest-rated industry every year since 2014, Gallup said. At 25% this year, it essentially ties with the oil and gas industry (22%) for the lowest spot.