Trump's approval rating sinks amid worry over economy, poll finds

US President Donald Trump's approval ratings have taken a hit amid growing concern over the economy, a new poll has found (AFP Photo/NICHOLAS KAMM)

Washington (AFP) - US President Donald Trump's approval rating has dropped sharply amid growing public concern about the prospects of a recession, according to a Washington Post/ABC poll published Tuesday.

The health of the US economy is one of the central themes of Trump's campaign for reelection to a second four-year term in 2020, hammered at by the president and his aides at every opportunity.

The Post/ABC poll, however, found that Trump's approval rating has dropped to 38 percent, from a career-high of 44 percent in July.

Although 56 percent of those surveyed judged the state of the economy to be "excellent" or "good," that is down sharply from a year ago when those favorable ratings stood at 65 percent.

Moreover, six in ten Americans surveyed said a recession was very or somewhat likely next year.

Their judgment of the way Trump has handled the trade negotiations with China was particularly severe, with only 35 percent approving, against 56 percent who disapproved.

Another finding that should be cause for worry at the White House: 43 percent of those surveyed said US trade and economic policies have increased the chance of recession next year, compared to 16 percent who thought that to the contrary they had made recession less likely.

Sixty percent said they were worried that the trade war with China would increase the price of consumer products for their families.

The Trump administration has pushed back against those fears in recent weeks.

"I don't see in any way a recession," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday on Fox Business, insisting the trade war has had no impact on the US economy.

The Post/ABC poll was conducted from September 2 to 5, with a representative sample of 1,003 adults.