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U.S. Economic Confidence Index Stable at -9

U.S. Economic Confidence Index Stable at -9

Chart: data points are described in article

Story Highlights

  • Confidence has been largely stable since uptick in late July
  • Current confidence above level of midspring and early summer
  • Current conditions score at 0; economic outlook score at -17

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' evaluation of the U.S. economy was steady last week, with Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index averaging -9. This score is similar to all weekly figures since the last week of July. Economic confidence remains stronger than it generally was in April, May, June and the first three weeks of July. Over that period, the index averaged -14, falling as low as -17 at three points.

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

Economic confidence climbed to its current level over the week of July 25-31, when Democrats' confidence in the economy rallied in response to the Democratic National Convention. While this upswing ended the index's general downward drift, it remains well below where it stood in early 2015, when it reached as high as +5 in late January. The precipitous fall of gas prices in late 2014 most likely played a significant role in the surging confidence at that time. But as gas prices rose, albeit modestly, in the ensuing months, confidence fell back into negative territory.

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.

Over the week of Sept. 12-18, just as many Americans rated the current state of the economy positively as did negatively, with 28% describing present economic conditions as "good" or "excellent," and 28% instead saying conditions are "poor." This brought the current conditions score to 0 for the week, compared with -4 the prior week.

Meanwhile, 39% of U.S. adults said economic conditions in the U.S. were "getting better" last week and 56% said they were "getting worse," resulting in an economic outlook score of -17, compared with -20 the prior week.

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

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Sept. 12-18, 2016, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 3,559 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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