PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Economic Confidence via Gallup: Still Negative But Improving

By at 2 April, 2024, 8:55 am

by Raymond J. Keating – 

Looking at Gallup’s latest polling on economic confidence, Americans’ overall view on the economy is that things are still bad, but at least improving.

As reported: “Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index is at -20 in March, similar to the -22 found in February but sharply higher than the readings near -50 measured last fall. The index is currently at its highest point since a -12 reading in August 2021.”

The index offers a read on how Americans view current economic conditions and their outlook on what lies ahead. According to Gallup, the highest mark of +56 registered in January 2000 and the low of -72 in October 2008.

As seen in the following chart from Gallup, Americans’ views have, for the most part, been negative since the pandemic hit.

As for current economic conditions, this poll points to 30 percent of Americans ranking matters as excellent or good, 30 percent as poor, and 39 percent as poor.

Things deteriorate when Americans are asked about the direction of the economy, with 33 percent saying conditions are getting better and 63 percent say they’re getting worse. That 63 percent is down, at least, from the recent high of 85 percent in June 2022.

On a final point, it’s worth noting that politics plays a part in these views. Consider the following breakdown as noted by Gallup: “Democrats’ current economic attitudes result in an Economic Confidence Index score of +35, while independents stand at -28 and Republicans at -62.”

If we zero in on independents to perhaps limit the party bias, 65 percent view the economy as getting worse and 28 percent seeing improvement. That’s hardly comforting.

Overall, each measure in this poll has shown movement in the right direction since at least late last year. But each also remains strongly negative.

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. His latest books on the economy are The Weekly Economist: 52 Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist, The Weekly Economist II: 52 More Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist and The Weekly Economist III: Another 52 Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist.

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