Americans' negative views on the direction of the U.S. economy show no signs of changing course. New Gallup data combining interviewing conducted Jan. 19, 20, and 22 show 82% of Americans now saying the economy is getting worse, while just 12% say it is getting better. There is no sign from Gallup's Tuesday night interviewing that Tuesday's dramatic Federal Reserve Board interest-rate cut makes any difference in these views. The current "getting worse" number is nine points higher than it was in early January. Gallup will continue to monitor consumer confidence to see how the major forces currently at play in the national and world economy affect consumer perceptions of the U.S. economy's direction. -- Frank Newport
These results are based on telephone interviews with 2,590 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Jan. 19, 20, and 22, 2008. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points. Other results are based on rolling averages of three nights of telephone interviews with a combined sample of approximately 3,000 national adults for each average, aged 18 and older. For results based on these three-night samples, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.
In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.