Economy

Gallup Daily: Consumer Confidence Begins to Slide

Previously improving confidence measures shift downward since Sunday

PRINCETON, NJ -- Gallup Poll Daily tracking from Sept. 14-16 classifies 73% of Americans as "negative" in their overall economic views, up from 70% in Tuesday's three-day rolling average, and an average of 71% for all of September.

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Both components making up Gallup's summary economic indicator show a deterioration of public confidence in the economy since Sunday's news that Lehman Brothers, succumbing to the financial pressure of the nation's mortgage industry crisis, went bankrupt. That deterioration seemed to accelerate in Tuesday night's interviews, after a full day of news discussion about the failure of insurance giant AIG.

The percentage of Americans calling current economic conditions "poor" is now 45%, the worst this rating has been since early August -- although still below the record high for the year of 52% in July. This is up from 40% just prior to the news of Lehman Brothers' demise. Earlier this month, only 38% of Americans called the economy poor, which was the lowest rating on this measure seen since March.

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Americans have also grown a bit more pessimistic about the direction of the nation's economy. The percentage saying the economy is "getting worse" rose to 81% in the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking average, up from 77% late last week.

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Consumer pessimism about the economy was worse on Monday than Sunday, and worse on Tuesday than Monday. Gallup Poll Daily updates over the coming days will document whether the federal government's intervention in the collapse of AIG and other stabilizing measures halts the decline in public confidence in the economy, or if it reinforces it. -- Lydia Saad

(Click here to see Gallup's full interactive trend on consumer confidence, since Jan. 2, 2008.)

Survey Methods

For the Gallup Poll Daily tracking survey, Gallup is interviewing no fewer than 1,000 U.S. adults nationwide each day during 2008.

The consumer confidence results are based on combined data from Sept. 14-16, 2008. For results based on this sample of 1,528 national adults, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones (for respondents with a landline telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell phone only).

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

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Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/110452/Gallup-Daily-Consumer-Confidence-Begins-Slide.aspx Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A +1 202.715.3030