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U.S. Economic Confidence Index Idles at -12

U.S. Economic Confidence Index Idles at -12

Chart: data points are described in article

Story Highlights

  • Index falls three points from the week before
  • Percentage saying current economic conditions are "poor" went up four points

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index registered -12 for the week ending Oct. 9, compared with -9 the previous week.

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

Though the index showed little movement, the past week was rife with events that could have influenced Americans' assessments of the economy. A major hurricane rolled through parts of the Southeast late in the week, prompting mass evacuations before the storm's arrival. Residents from Florida to the Carolinas saw significant damage and some loss of life.

Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday morning that the unemployment rate edged up in September to 5.0% from 4.9% the month before and that job growth was lower than expected.

The coincident timing of these events makes it difficult to pinpoint what effect, if any, either may have had on opinions of the economy. Attitudes certainly dipped more over the weekend compared with earlier in the week. For Monday through Thursday of last week, confidence stood at -10; over the weekend, it was -15.

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.

Last week, the current conditions component stood at -3, with 27% saying the economy was "good" or "excellent," and 30% saying it was "poor." The current conditions component stood at +1 one week earlier, with 27% saying the economy was "good" or "excellent," and 26% saying it was "poor."

Fewer than four in 10 Americans (37%) said economic conditions in the country were "getting better" last week, essentially unchanged from the 38% who said the same one week earlier. Fifty-eight percent of Americans said economic conditions were "getting worse," also similar to the 57% the week before. Last week's economic outlook component stood at -21.

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

Bottom Line

Economic confidence dipped late last week for reasons that are not totally clear -- perhaps temporary reasons if Hurricane Matthew influenced it. One important indication of this will be whether economic confidence rebounds this week or remains at the lower level reached over the weekend.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Oct. 3-9, 2016, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 3,046 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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