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Economic Confidence Index in the U.S. Consistent at -12

Economic Confidence Index in the U.S. Consistent at -12

by Rebecca Riffkin

Story Highlights

  • Index stays within the -11 to -15 range found since September
  • Current conditions still rated better than economic outlook

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index is -12 for the week ending Dec. 13. This is consistent with the -11 score of the previous week and within the narrow -11 to -15 range it has occupied since September.

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

At the end of December 2014, the index increased sharply and reached positive territory for the first time since Daily tracking began in 2008. Scores stayed positive for about two months, before falling back toward an overall negative evaluation of the economy. Over the summer, the index fell further, dropping as low as -17 in late August. Since then, scores have stayed within a narrow four-point range.

Weekly Economic Confidence Index, Dec. 7-13

Gallup's Economic Confidence Index is the average of two components: how Americans feel about current economic conditions and whether they feel the economy is improving or getting worse. The index has a theoretical high of +100, if all Americans rate the current economy positively and say it is improving. It has a theoretical low of -100, if all Americans rate the current economy poorly and say it is getting worse.

For the week ending Dec. 13, 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, the same as Gallup has found since November. The economic outlook score measured -18 last week, the result of 39% of Americans saying the economy is "getting better" and 57% saying it is "getting worse." This is down slightly from the week prior, but within the range of recent scores.

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

Bottom Line

If the U.S. Federal Reserve increases interest rates as expected this week, it could have a number of effects on U.S. consumers, including investors. Increasing interest rates could make certificates of deposit and savings accounts more attractive, but could also make borrowing money more expensive. The stock market will likely also respond to any interest rate hike, which could affect Americans' economic confidence. These effects could, in turn, influence the scores on the index, either directly or indirectly. Most likely the Fed's decision would influence Americans' views of whether the economy is going to get better or worse.

These data are available in Gallup Analytics.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Dec. 7-13, 2015, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 3,538 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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