A new poll shows that most Americans approve of the way President Barack Obama is handling the U.S. economy, but new data show the economy is still troubled.

Sixty percent of those surveyed in the Washington Post-ABC News poll said they favor Mr. Obama's approach to the economic crisis. 

But only 64 percent said they were confident that Mr. Obama's policies would improve the economy, down from 72 percent just before he took office in January.

The poll also shows that Americans do not blame the country's economic problems on the Obama administration.  Most of those surveyed blamed financial institutions for taking too many risks, consumers for taking on too much debt, and the Bush administration for lax regulation.

But the U.S. economy is still struggling to emerge from recession.  Data published Tuesday show home prices fell by a record 19 percent in January from the same period a year ago.

A separate study showed consumer confidence rose slightly in March, but remained near record lows.

Economists track consumer attitudes to get clues about consumer spending because consumer demand drives about two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.  

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.