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Americans' Confidence in the Economy Unmoved

Americans' Confidence in the Economy Unmoved
by Andrew Dugan

Story Highlights

  • Index was at +3 last week, up from zero the week before
  • Economic outlook component was negative for 10th consecutive week

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans remained slightly optimistic about the state of the economy last week, with Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index averaging +3 for the week ending July 9. While this is up three points from the previous week of June 26-July 2, last week's score is on par with the index's performance throughout May and June.

Graph 1

U.S. employers added 222,000 jobs in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, exceeding most economists' expectations. The most recent BLS jobs report had no immediate effect on economic confidence; Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index stood at +3 before the report was released on Friday and in the first three days after.

Since the first week of May, the index has remained in a tight range of +2 to +4, apart from a slightly lower score of zero last week, which appears to have been a short-term dip.

Confidence in the economy remains down notably from the higher levels seen in the first three months of the year, including the measure's weekly post-recession high of +16 in early March. The index lost ground in late March and again in early May, largely related to Democrats' eroding confidence in the economy, though this has mostly stabilized in recent weeks.

Taking a broader view, Americans remain far more confident in the economy than they were throughout most of 2008-2016.

Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index is the average of two components: how Americans rate current economic conditions and whether they believe the economy is improving or getting worse. The index has a theoretical maximum of +100 if all Americans were to say the economy is doing well and improving, and a theoretical minimum of -100 if all were to say the economy is doing poorly and getting worse.

For the week ending July 9, 34% of Americans assessed the economy as "excellent" or "good," while 23% said it was "poor," yielding a current conditions component score of +11.

Last week, slightly more Americans continued to say the economy was "getting worse" than to say it was "getting better," at 49% and 44%, respectively. This leaves the economic outlook component at -5 for the week.

Graph 2

While both components are down from their record highs in March, the economic outlook component has fallen further than the current conditions score. Perceptions about the direction of the economy have been net-negative for 10 consecutive weeks. Ratings of the economy's current conditions, by contrast, remain positive, as they have throughout 2017. For overall confidence in the economy to improve significantly, Americans will need to reassess their economic expectations.

These data are available in Gallup Analytics.

Gallup.com reports results from these indexes in daily, weekly and monthly averages and in Gallup.com stories. Complete trend data are always available to view in the following charts:

Daily: Employment, Economic Confidence, Consumer Spending

Weekly: Employment, Economic Confidence, Job Creation, Consumer Spending

Read more about Gallup's economic measures.

View our economic release schedule.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted July 3-9, 2017, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 3,045 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70% cellphone respondents and 30% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

Learn more about how the Gallup U.S. Daily works.

Gallup


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