Americans' confidence in the economy remains flat

WASHINGTON, D.C.
July 11, 2017 9:01pm
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•  Still slightly positive overall

•  But economic outlook component is negative for 10th consecutive week


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Americans remain just slightly optimistic about the state of the economy, with Gallup Inc.'s U.S. Economic Confidence Index averaging a +3 for the week ending July 9.

While this is up three points from the previous week of June 26-July 2, last week's score is on par with the index's performance throughout May and June.

U.S. employers added 222,000 jobs in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, exceeding most economists' expectations. The most recent BLS jobs report had no immediate effect on economic confidence; Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index stood at +3 before the report was released on Friday and in the first three days after.

Since the first week of May, the index has remained in a tight range of +2 to +4, apart from a slightly lower score of zero last week, which appears to have been a short-term dip.

Confidence in the economy remains down notably from the higher levels seen in the first three months of the year, including the measure's weekly post-recession high of +16 in early March. The index lost ground in late March and again in early May, largely related to Democrats' eroding confidence in the economy, though this has mostly stabilized in recent weeks.

Taking a broader view, Americans, buoyed by a change in attitude by Republicans, remain more confident in the economy than they were throughout most of 2008-2016.

Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index is the average of two components: how Americans rate current economic conditions and whether they believe 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 July 9, 34 percent of Americans assessed the economy as "excellent" or "good," while 23 percent said it was "poor," yielding a current conditions component score of +11.

Last week, more Americans continued to say the economy was "getting worse" than to say it was "getting better," at 49 percent and 44 percent, respectively. This leaves the economic outlook component at -5 for the week.

While both components are down from their record highs in March, the economic outlook component has fallen further than the current conditions score. Perceptions about the direction of the economy have been net-negative for 10 consecutive weeks.

Ratings of the economy's current conditions, by contrast, remain positive, as they have throughout 2017, Gallup says. But for overall confidence in the economy to improve significantly, Americans will need to reassess their economic expectations, the polling company says.

Survey methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted July 3-9, 2017, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 3,045 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 percent 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 percent cellphone respondents and 30 percent landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.


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