Princeton, New Jersey – Americans’ opinion of the automobile industry has brightened considerably after reaching an all-time low last year, and is now more positive than negative for the first time in three years, according to a new Gallup poll. The 15-point increase in the percentage rating given the auto industry ties the largest one-year improvement in Gallup’s ten-year history of measuring public opinion on major U.S. business industries.

Despite the improvement, the image of the auto industry has merely recovered from the losses of the past two years and is much less favourable than it was in 2001 to 2005, the company said.

The auto industry now ranks in the middle of the list of 25 business industries and sectors rated in Gallup’s annual Work and Education Poll. Highest on the list were the computer and restaurant industries, while the oil and gas industry received the worst ratings. Although the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico played a part, the industry’s ratings were negative to begin with, and were worse in 2006 and 2008 when gasoline prices were high.

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