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Economy
U.S. Economic Confidence Index Ticks Up to -11
Economy

U.S. Economic Confidence Index Ticks Up to -11

Story Highlights

  • Index is up two points over past two weeks
  • Economic outlook score up, while current conditions score flat

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index averaged -11 for the week ending Dec. 6, similar to the previous week's score of -12. The current score is on the higher end of the -11 to -15 range Gallup has found since September, after one-point improvements in each of the past two weeks.

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

Americans' confidence in the economy was higher at the dawn of the year, as most weekly confidence index readings were positive between January and March. By spring, however, confidence had waned, and became decidedly more negative by summer.

Weekly Economic Confidence Index, Nov. 30-Dec. 6

Index scores have languished within a narrow range ever since, and have nearly flat-lined in recent months -- 10 of the previous 11 scores were -12 or -13; the exception was a -15 measured in late October. Though still negative overall, current confidence levels are much better than they were for most of 2008 to 2012.

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."

For the week ending Dec. 6, 24% of Americans rated the current economy as "excellent" or "good," while 30% rated it as "poor." This resulted in a current conditions score of -6, identical to scores for the previous three weeks, and not far off from most readings over the year.

The economic outlook score last week was -15, reflecting 40% of Americans saying the economy is "getting better" and 55% saying it is "getting worse." This is a bit higher than figures found in the past several weeks. Through most of Gallup's trend, the economic outlook score has been lower than the current conditions score.

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

These data are available in Gallup Analytics.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2015, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 3,539 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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