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Economy
U.S. Economic Confidence Index Remains at -13
Economy

U.S. Economic Confidence Index Remains at -13

Story Highlights

  • No change in confidence from previous week
  • Index has remained within two-point range for eight weeks

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup's Economic Confidence Index registered -13 for the week ending Oct. 25, identical to the week before. The index has held within a two-point range, between -12 and -14, for eight straight weeks.

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

Americans' economic confidence has varied little in recent months, with index scores below -10 the norm since July. The current reading is significantly worse than the positive scores recorded early in 2015, but is still much better than many of the dismally negative ones found from 2008 to 2013, when the annual averages in confidence ranged between -16 and -48.

Gallup's Economic Confidence Index is based on the combined responses to two questions: The first asks Americans to rate economic conditions in the U.S. today, and the second asks 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 were to rate the economy as "poor" and "getting worse."

U.S. Economic Confidence Index, Oct. 19-25, 2015

Last week's current conditions score of -6 is the result of 24% of Americans rating the economy as excellent or good and 30% saying it is poor. The economic outlook score of -19 is the result of 38% saying the economy is getting better and 57% saying it is getting worse. Both are essentially unchanged from the prior week.

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

Bottom Line

Though Americans' confidence in the economy remains negative, it has also not gotten worse after recovering from the year's low point of -17 in August.

October has brought some positive news as the Dow recovers, with gas prices and the national unemployment rate remaining relatively low. But amid these encouraging signs, major U.S. corporations are reporting a dip in sales and profits, and have signaled a slowing of production that could continue into 2016. None of these factors appears to have been enough to cause Americans to readjust their economic outlook in recent weeks.

For their part, Americans are not as optimistic as they were at the start of 2015, when the consistent decline in gas prices that began late last year helped make them more positive about the economy. Gas prices remain low relative to where they were in the summer of 2014, but Americans may be accustomed to the lower prices now and this may not have as much impact on their views of the U.S. economy's health as it did in late 2014 and early 2015. Other factors, like the struggles of the stock market for much of this year, may be more top-of-mind now. And while their confidence in the economy's current health is only slightly negative, their sense of the direction in which the economy is heading is even less rosy.

Historical data are available in Gallup Analytics.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Oct. 19-25, 2015, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 3,545 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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