U.S. Economic Confidence Index Holds Steady at +5

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The FINANCIAL — Americans’ confidence in the U.S. economy remained slightly positive and stable last week. Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index held at +5 for the week ending Sept. 24 — the same score as the prior week.

The latest reading of Americans’ confidence in the economy is slightly higher than most of the weekly figures Gallup has recorded since March. More broadly, except for two higher weekly scores in August and a lower score in late June, the index has remained within a +2 to +7 range since late March.

Americans’ confidence rose significantly in the initial months after President Donald Trump’s inauguration — with the index peaking at +16 in early March — but hasn’t returned to that level since. Still, this year’s index readings thus far have been much 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.

For the week ending Sept. 24, 34% of Americans described the economy as “good” or “excellent,” while 20% instead described the economy as “poor,” resulting in a current conditions score of +14, the same as the prior week. This is among the highest scores Gallup has recorded for this component in its trend since 2008.

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Americans remain slightly negative, however, about the direction the economy is headed — 45% say it is getting better, and 49% say it is getting worse. That results in an economic outlook score of -4 — also matching the prior week.

Bottom Line

Public confidence in the U.S. economy remains slightly positive overall, as the stock market has largely maintained its recent gains and the U.S. unemployment rate remains at a decade low. However, Americans’ solidly positive views of the economy’s current health are partially offset by their slightly negative expectations for its future.

 

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