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U.S. Economic Confidence Index Flat at -9

U.S. Economic Confidence Index Flat at -9

Story Highlights

  • Index the same as in previous week
  • Current economic conditions score ticks down three points
  • Economic outlook score gains three points

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index was flat for the week ending Dec. 14, holding at the -9 score it registered in the previous week. Despite the overall stability, Americans were a bit less optimistic about current economic conditions and more optimistic about the economy's future.

Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index -- Weekly Averages in 2014

Prior to mid-October, the index had varied all year in the narrow range of -13 to -21, but it has since been higher, including a high of -6 in mid-November.

Gallup's Economic Confidence Index is the average of two components: Americans' views of current economic conditions and whether they think the economy will get better or will get worse. The index has a theoretical maximum of +100 -- if all Americans rated current conditions as excellent or good and thought the economy was getting better -- and a theoretical minimum of -100, if all Americans rated current conditions as poor and thought the economy was getting worse.

Though the overall index remained the same as the previous week, there were changes in Americans' views of the current economy and its outlook for the future.

For the week ending Dec. 14, 21% of Americans said the economy was "excellent" or "good," while 31% said it was "poor." This resulted in a current conditions index score of -10 -- a dip from the -7 score it had been at for the previous four weeks. Meanwhile, the economic outlook component measured -7, up a few points from the -10 found in the previous week. The outlook score is the result of 44% of Americans saying the economy is "getting better" and 51% saying it is "getting worse."

The net result of these changes is Americans are now a bit more upbeat about the economy's direction than about its current health, a shift from what has been the case for most of the past five months.

Economic Confidence Index Components -- Weekly Averages in 2014

Bottom Line

Though no change took place in the index's overall score last week, it remains one of the highest readings of 2014. And Americans' relative assessments of the economy's current state and whether it is improving or getting worse did shift so that currently Americans are a bit more positive about where the economy is headed.

The recent economic confidence readings also rank among the most positive Gallup has measured since it began tracking the index daily in 2008, approaching the highs registered in the late spring of 2013. Should positive momentum in confidence continue further, 2015 may be the year Americans' overall assessment of the economy is more positive than negative for the first time since the recession.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Dec. 8-14, 2014, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 3,028 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 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.

Learn more about how Gallup Daily tracking works.

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