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Economy
U.S. Economic Confidence Index Edges Down to -15
Economy

U.S. Economic Confidence Index Edges Down to -15

by Alyssa Davis
U.S. Economic Confidence Index Edges Down to -15

Story Highlights

  • U.S. Economic Confidence Index fell three points last week
  • Index score of -15 similar to scores seen since early April
  • Economic outlook score dropped five points from previous week

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' confidence in the economy declined slightly last week, driven by their worsening views of the economy's direction. Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index score for the week ending June 19 was -15, down from -12 the week before, but still roughly similar to readings since early April.

U.S. Economic Confidence Index -- Weekly Averages Since January 2015

Overall, confidence remains lower than it was in the first half of 2015, when plummeting gas prices boosted Americans' confidence. Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index is averaging -12 so far in 2016, a drop from the average of -8 for 2015, but slightly better than the averages for 2014 (-15) and 2013 (-16). Confidence remains significantly higher than it was in the years during and immediately after the Great Recession, when it averaged -37 from 2008 to 2010.

Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index is the average of two components: how Americans rate current economic conditions and whether they feel the economy is improving or getting worse. The index has a theoretical maximum of +100 if all Americans say the economy is doing well and improving, and a theoretical minimum of -100 if all Americans say the economy is doing poorly and getting worse.

Americans' views about the economy's momentum soured last week, while their views about current economic conditions held steady. The economic outlook rating of -23, down from -18 the previous week, reflected 36% of Americans saying the economy was getting better and 59% saying it was getting worse. The current conditions rating of -6 reflected 25% of Americans describing current economic conditions as "excellent" or "good," and 31% describing them as "poor."

U.S. Economic Confidence Index Components -- Weekly Averages Since June 2015

Implications

Several factors might help explain the slight dip in consumer confidence last week. The national average price of gas hit one of its highest points since September 2015, which could be dampening the moods of Americans looking to hit the road this summer. The U.S. stock market dropped last week amid concerns about the "Brexit" vote on June 23 determining whether the U.K. will leave the European Union.

The uncertainty of the 2016 presidential election might also be driving consumers' slightly more negative views of the economy's future direction. Americans identified the economy as the most important problem facing the country, but less than half said any of the presidential candidates have come up with good ideas for solving the nation's top problem.

There is little reason to believe Americans will become much more confident in the economy until they see sustained improvement in the labor market and stronger economic growth. One encouraging sign is that some economists predict U.S. economic growth will accelerate in the second quarter after consumer spending remained healthy in May.

These data are available in Gallup Analytics.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted June 13-19, 2016, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 3,535 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.

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 Gallup Daily tracking works.

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