President Carter's fortunes have taken a slight turn for the better, after a four-month slide in popularity.

In the latest nationwide survey, 44 percent of Americans approve of the way the president is handling his job as chief executive, while an equal proportion, 43 percent, disapprove.

The current figure represents a five-point gain in approval from the president's low in mid-April, when 39 percent expressed approval. Between December and the mid-April survey, Carter's popularity had declined 18 percentage points.

Confidence in Carter the man also declined with the percentage saying they have "a great deal" of trust and confidence in Carter down from 30 percent in December to 25 percent in the latest survey.

Finally, those who rate the president's record to date as "excellent" or "good" has declined over this same period of time from 37 percent to 28 percent.

The loss of public confidence in Carter over the last few months is primarily a result of increased concern over the economy and the growing belief that the president is indecisive. "He doesn't have the push the other presidents have had" was a typical response. Many people also feel he has not kept his campaign promises.

His supporters, on the other hand, maintain that he is doing the best he can and that it is too early to criticize him for failure to live up to his campaign promises. Others feel that Congress is not giving him the support he needs to pass his legislative programs.

The samplings was asked this question:

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Carter is handling his job as president?"

Here is the trend since December: [TABLE OMITTED]