WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index was -15 for the week ending May 25, its ninth consecutive week at or near this level. The index slumped a bit in early March, ranging from -18 to -20, but has fluctuated narrowly between -14 and -17 since.
The index was more positive at this time last year, registering -6 in late May and reaching -3 at the beginning of June, an all-time high since Gallup began tracking economic confidence daily in 2008. However, it turned more negative over the summer and then plummeted to -39 in October during the partial government shutdown. The index gradually improved to -13 in the beginning of January, but has shown little sustained change since that point.
Gallup's Economic Confidence Index is an average of two components: Americans' views on the current economic situation and their perceptions of whether the economy is getting better or worse. In this week's average, neither component changed by more than a point from last week. Twenty percent of Americans rate the current economy as "excellent" or "good," while 34% say it is "poor," resulting in a current conditions score of -14. Consistent with last week, 40% of Americans say the economy is getting better, while 55% say it is getting worse. This results in an economic outlook score of -15.
Americans' improved, but still subdued, confidence in the economy has remained quite steady for the last couple of months. It has not yet recovered to the significantly more positive levels seen a year ago. Despite separate Gallup metrics showing a rise in job creation and a higher percentage of Americans saying now is a good time to find a quality job, Americans' overall economic confidence is not showing signs of significant upward movement. As Gallup has noted for some time, Americans may be looking for bigger signals than stock market gains or minor monthly improvements in the job market that the economy has truly recovered.
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 and export in the following charts:
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Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted May 19-25, 2014, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 3,549 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 ±3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.
Samples are weighted to correct for unequal selection probability, nonresponse, and double coverage of landline and cell users in the two sampling frames. They are also weighted to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, population density, and phone status (cellphone only/landline only/both, and cellphone mostly). Demographic weighting targets are based on the most recent Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population. Phone status targets are based on the most recent National Health Interview Survey. Population density targets are based on the most recent U.S. census. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting.
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.
For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit www.gallup.com.