WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index remained flat in June with a monthly average of -15, after rising to -14 in May. Monthly index scores have hovered near this point for most of 2014. This is very different from the index in the first half of 2013, which rose from -16 in February to a five-year high of -7 in May.
Economic confidence has been fairly stable so far in 2014; the monthly average has stayed between -14 and -17 and hasn't changed by more than two points from month to month -- unlike last fall, when the index saw a 16-point drop in October followed by a 10-point increase in November.
For the week of June 23-29, the index measured -16, the same as the week prior. Weekly economic confidence hasn't moved outside a narrow seven-point window of -13, seen the first week of January, and -20, recorded in early March. The weekly index hasn't budged by more than three points between any two weeks so far in 2014.
Gallup's Economic Confidence Index is the average of two components: Americans' views of the current economic situation and their perceptions of whether the economy is getting better or worse. In May, both of these components were -14. In June, 20% of Americans said the economy is "excellent" or "good" and 34% said it is "poor," resulting in a current conditions score of -14. The economic outlook score for June was -17 -- the result of 39% of Americans saying the economy is getting better and 56% saying it is getting worse.
Economic Confidence by Party
Americans' views of the economy have historically varied depending on their party affiliation. Democrats currently have the highest monthly index score, although it has fallen by two points since May. Independents' index score increased by six points from May to June, and Republicans' average stayed about the same.
Since February 2012, toward the beginning of President Barack Obama's re-election year, Democrats have had a positive monthly Economic Confidence Index score, with the exception of October 2013 during the partial government shutdown. Republicans and independents, however, have remained in the negative for the past two years. This large party split occurred in February 2009 after President Obama's first month in office. Since then, Democrats have been noticeably more positive about the economy than Republicans, while independents have fallen somewhere in the middle.
Americans' economic confidence has been fairly steady so far in 2014. Neither monthly averages nor weekly averages have changed much, despite other economic indicators improving. Gallup's Job Creation Index reached a new high in May, and the Payroll to Population employment rate also continued to rise. However, the U.S. economy shrank more than expected in the first quarter of 2014, and gas prices have increased. The party differences in economic confidence could become especially important as midterm elections approach in November. As a whole, Americans still appear to be wary about the economy, and it may take more consistently good economic news for their economic confidence to grow.
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 June 1-30, 2014, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 14,695 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 ±1 percentage point 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.