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U.S. Economic Confidence Index Up Slightly

U.S. Economic Confidence Index Up Slightly
by Justin McCarthy

Story Highlights

  • Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index up from previous week's +4
  • Economic outlook component up five points from prior week

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' confidence in the economy improved slightly in the final days leading up to Christmas, with Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index registering +8 for the week ending Dec. 24. This is up from +4 the week prior but similar to the +7 recorded for the same pre-Christmas week in 2016.

Graph 1

The latest reading falls short of the 2017 high of +16 -- which occurred in early March -- but is slightly above the +6 average for the year.

Americans' confidence in the economy generally has been in positive territory since the 2016 presidential election. Before then, economic confidence scores were negative for the vast majority of weekly readings from January 2008 through early November 2016.


Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index is the average of two components: how Americans rate current economic conditions and whether they feel 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 Dec. 24, 39% of Americans rated current economic conditions as "excellent" or "good," while 23% described economic conditions as "poor." This resulted in a current conditions component score of +16 for the week, similar to the prior week's score of +14.

Meanwhile, Americans were split on the direction of the economy's future, with 47% saying the economy is "getting better" and 48% saying it is "getting worse." As a result, the economic outlook component score was -1 for the week, up five points from the previous week.

Graph 2

Bottom Line

Americans' confidence in the economy remains slightly positive, much as it has for most of 2017 -- a year that saw massive gains in U.S. stocks and the national unemployment rate fall to a nearly 17-year low.

Though Americans remain mixed in their views of the economy's future, their economic outlook may become more positive in 2018 after a full year of sustained economic improvements. And although their views of the new tax reform bill were negative before its passage, that may change once Americans see the tax cuts most are expected to receive in 2018.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Dec. 18-24, 2017, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 2,499 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.


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