More New Jersey residents believe they are better off financially than a year ago, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll released last week.

While a plurality of those polled, 48%, said that they are worse off than last year, that is down from 54% in January 2010. The percentage who said that they are better off than a year ago increased to 25% from 18% in January 2010. The poll was conducted with the Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson and included 809 randomly selected adults.

Looking ahead, residents are cautious about their finances in 2011. Of those polled, 46% said that they and their families will be better off in the coming year, down slightly from 48% in January 2010. About 27% said their finances will be worse in 2011 compared to 2010, up from 23% this time last year.

Those who believe business conditions in the state are better than last year has grown. While 56% said conditions were worse last year, that’s down from 71% and 88% in 2010 and 2009, respectively. Of those polled, 25% said the business climate had improved over last year, up from 13% and 3% in 2010 and 2009.

The poll has a margin of error of 3.5% It was conducted Jan. 3 to Jan. 9.

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