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Economy

U.S. Economic Confidence Index Holds at -14

by Justin McCarthy

Story Highlights

  • Index reading same as previous week
  • Latest score on the lower end of figures for 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index averaged -14 for the week ending Sept. 13, the same as the previous week. This is among the lowest scores so far this year, but is slightly improved from the -17 measured two weeks ago.

U.S. Economic Confidence Index -- Weekly Averages Since September 2014

Although the latest reading is better than the large majority of index scores Gallup has tracked since 2008, it is lackluster compared with figures over the past year. After years in negative territory, the index turned positive at the end of 2014 and remained there for several weeks. By February, scores became negative again and have gradually worsened in the months since, with the recent -17 in late August being the worst score since September of last year.

Economic Confidence Index trend

Gallup's Economic Confidence Index is based on the combined responses to two questions -- the first asking Americans to rate economic conditions in the U.S. today, and the second asking whether they think economic conditions in the country as a whole are getting better or getting worse. The index has a theoretical maximum of +100, if all Americans were to rate the economy as "excellent" or "good" and "getting better," and a theoretical minimum of -100, if all Americans were to rate the economy as "poor" and "getting worse."

The current conditions score of -7 is the result of 25% of Americans rating the economy as excellent or good and 32% saying it is poor, essentially the same as the prior five weeks. The economic outlook score of -20, which did not change from the previous week, is the result of 38% saying the economy is getting better and 58% saying it is getting worse.

U.S. Economic Confidence Index Components -- Weekly Averages Since September 2014

Bottom Line

Americans' confidence in the economy has remained securely in the negative range of -11 to -17 since early July after posting higher values in late 2014 and early 2015.

Comparatively, confidence is much higher than it was in the better part of the last several years. But with turbulence on Wall Street and in international markets, improvement may not be on the horizon.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Sept. 7-13, 2015, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 3,046 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 60% cellphone respondents and 40% 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 the Gallup U.S. Daily works.

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