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U.S. Economic Confidence Index Ticks Up, Now at +6

U.S. Economic Confidence Index Ticks Up, Now at +6

Chart: data points are described in article

Story Highlights

  • Index up four points from prior week
  • Americans less negative about economy's future

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' confidence in the U.S. economy improved slightly last week. Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index was +6 for the week ending Oct. 8 -- up four points from the prior week.

Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index -- Weekly Averages

The index hasn't moved much over the past several months. With the exception of two higher weekly scores in August and a slightly lower score in early July, the index has remained within a +2 to +7 range since late March.

Confidence was higher in the first few months of President Donald Trump's term -- with the index peaking at +16 in early March -- but hasn't returned to that level since. Still, index readings in 2017 so far have been a lot higher than the mostly negative ones recorded from 2008 to 2016.

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 were to say the economy is doing well and improving, and a theoretical minimum of -100 if all were to say the economy is doing poorly and getting worse.

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For the week ending Oct. 8, 35% of Americans described the economy as "good" or "excellent," while 21% described it as "poor," resulting in a current conditions score of +14. This is consistent with the +12 to +14 range for this component since late August and is among the highest scores Gallup has recorded for it in its trend since 2008.

Americans remain slightly negative, however, about the direction in which the economy is headed -- 46% say it is getting better and 49% say it is getting worse, resulting in an economic outlook score of -3. This latest score for this component is less negative than the prior week's -9 but matches the component's average since late March.

Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index Components --

Bottom Line

Americans remain about as upbeat as they recently have been in their views of the U.S. economy's current state, but their cautiousness about the future dampens these relatively positive assessments.

They are, however, less negative in their economic outlook than they were the prior week. Perhaps this is related to the continued rise of the U.S. stock market. Meanwhile, despite a Bureau of Labor Statistics report detailing the loss of 33,000 jobs nationally in September, the U.S. unemployment rate still dropped to a 16-year low.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Oct. 2-8, 2017, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 2,006 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 ±3 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 70% cellphone respondents and 30% 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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