Twenty-seven percent of Americans said economic conditions are excellent or good — up from 16 percent in January 2014. Nearly 50 percent said economic conditions are fair, and while 16 percent said the economy is recovering strongly, 66 percent agree there is an economic recovery, but “not so strongly.”

Obama’s 47 percent approval rating at the start of his seventh year puts him between former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who saw 63 percent and 33 percent approval ratings, respectively, at the same point in their terms. Obama’s numbers are comparable to those of former President Ronald Reagan, whose approval rating was at 49 percent as he headed into his penultimate year in the White House.

Pew’s numbers reinforce a string of polls last month that showed the president’s ratings improving as he headed to Hawaii for his Christmas vacation.