Consumers are kicking off 2015 with good feelings about the economy, according to a new survey of Americans by LIMRA, a research organization for the insurance and financial services industry.

And it could be that with gas prices low, and job prospects better, Americans have a little more money to save–the LIMRA study found that almost half (47 percent) of consumers have an “extreme amount” or “quite a bit” of confidence in their community banks and credit unions, up from 38 percent at the same time last year.

More than a third of respondents said they have a favorable view of the economy overall, the best response since the “Great Recession” of 2007-2009, LIMRA reported. And for the first time since October 2008, consumers with a negative view of the economy are in the minority.

“Consumer sentiment on the economy tends to be seasonal – it’s not uncommon for us to see a boost at the start of each new year,” said Jennifer Douglas, associate research director of LIMRA Developmental and Strategic Research. “To a greater extent, the strong equity markets, labor market, and low gas prices are likely to have prompted a sense of personal financial well-being, influencing their opinion of the broad economy.”