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U.S. Economic Confidence Index Still Positive, Climbs to +5

U.S. Economic Confidence Index Still Positive, Climbs to +5

by Rebecca Riffkin

Story Highlights

  • Index rose to +5, up three points from prior week
  • Fifth consecutive week with index in positive territory
  • Public more rosy about economic outlook than current conditions

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index was +5 for the week ending Jan. 25. This is by one point the best score since the recession, and three points higher than the +2 found the week prior. The index has been in positive territory for five consecutive weeks after being in negative territory since Gallup began tracking it daily in 2008.

Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index -- Weekly Averages Since 2008

Gallup's Economic Confidence Index is the average of two components, Americans' ratings of current economic conditions and their views on whether the economy is getting better or getting worse. The index has a theoretical maximum of +100, if all Americans thought the economy was excellent or good and getting better, and a theoretical minimum of -100, if all Americans thought the economy was poor and getting worse. While it is unlikely to reach either extreme, this week's score of +5 remains in the middle of the possible range of the index.

For the week ending Jan. 25, 28% of Americans said the economy was "excellent" or "good," while 26% said it was "poor." This results in a current conditions score of +2, up from -1 the week prior. The economic outlook score increased by a similar margin, reaching +7. This was the result of 51% of Americans saying the economy was "getting better" while 44% said it was "getting worse."

Economic Confidence Index Components -- Weekly Averages From Jan. 2014

For the past three weeks, the economic outlook score has been slightly higher than the current conditions score, indicating that Americans are more likely to be optimistic about the future of the economy than the current economy.

Bottom Line

Americans continue to feel better about the economy -- as good as they have at any time since the recession began. After a brief dip the prior week, confidence recovered this past week, perhaps helped by President Barack Obama's State of the Union address in which he was able to make clear to a national audience that the economy is getting better.

The president's positive spin on the economy is certainly defensible as most economic measures have been trending in a positive direction over the past year, including official government reports of economic growth and unemployment, but also measures that Gallup tracks, including on employment, company hiring and consumer spending.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 19-25, 2015, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 3,027 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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