NEW YORK (AP) -- Ever since his inauguration, President Barack Obama's approval ratings have been on the decline -- but now, a new poll finds that his numbers are starting to rise again.
Fifty-six percent of the people surveyed in the past week in the Associated Press-GfK poll approve of Obama's job performance. That's up from 50 percent in September. And it's the first time since he took office in January that the rating has gone up.
Thirty-nine percent said they disapproved of Obama's performance in office. That's down from 49 percent last month.
People who were surveyed are feeling better about Obama's handling of the economy and about his proposed health care overhaul.
But support for the war in Afghanistan appears to be declining. And, even though Obama is gaining in other areas, approval of his handling of the war is holding steady.
By a narrow margin, respondents oppose the big troop increase that's being considered for Afghanistan.
And even though a majority of the people surveyed are still pessimistic about the direction of the country, that number has started to improve. Last month, 37 percent said they think the country is headed in the right direction. It's now 41 percent.
The economy is the biggest concern, with 88 percent saying it's extremely or very important.