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U.S. Economic Confidence Index Holds at -12

U.S. Economic Confidence Index Holds at -12

Story Highlights

  • Index matches the prior week's score
  • Current conditions score inches up slightly
  • Economic outlook score slightly down

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index was -12 for the week ending Dec. 20. This is consistent with scores since September, which have ranged narrowly between -11 and -15.

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

And with the exception of a -17 score in late August, the index has held in that tight range of scores since July. Though steady, the index is far below the positive scores it registered early in 2015. Still, recent readings are significantly higher than they were for most of 2008 to 2012.

Weekly Economic Confidence Index, Dec. 14-20, 2015

Gallup's Economic Confidence Index is the average of two components: how Americans rate current economic conditions and whether they believe 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.

Current Conditions Score Inches to Six-Month High

For the week ending Dec. 20, 25% of Americans rated the current economy as "excellent" or "good," while 29% rated it as "poor," resulting in a current conditions score of -4. Meanwhile, the economic outlook score was -19, the result of 38% of Americans saying the economy is "getting better" and 57% saying it is "getting worse." Both showed modest fluctuation from prior weeks but remain consistent with recent scores.

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

Bottom Line

Americans' confidence in the economy remained constant during a fairly notable historical moment -- the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision last week to raise interest rates. While some observers have attributed the Dow's rough week to this event, it does not appear to have had an immediate effect on how Americans feel about the national economy.

Meanwhile, gas prices continued to drop last week, reaching their lowest level since 2009. The drop in gas prices was likely the main driver in Americans' greater confidence in the economy in late 2014 and early 2015. And the renewed drop in gas prices could provide average Americans with direct and concrete evidence of the economy's health.

These data are available in Gallup Analytics.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Dec. 14-20, 2015, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 3,537 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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