Economy

US Economic Confidence Index Averages +14

US Economic Confidence Index Averages +14
by Justin McCarthy

Story Highlights

  • Index up one point from prior week, setting new record high
  • New high recorded during Trump's first full week in office
  • Current conditions component increased to +14

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' recently improved confidence in the U.S. economy held firm last week as Gallup's Economic Confidence Index averaged +14, similar to +13 one week earlier. The latest results, based on Gallup Daily tracking from Jan. 23-29, span the first full week of tracking during President Donald Trump's administration.

Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index

Gallup's three-day rolling averages show that confidence was a bit stronger earlier in the week than it was toward the end of the week. Gallup's index averaged +18 from Jan. 23-25, essentially tying the highest three-day average in Gallup's trend (+19), recorded Jan. 21-23.

However, by the end of the week, the index had tapered back to +10, similar to where it has been since mid-January. This slight decrease coincided with a lackluster report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which estimated 2016 to be the 11th consecutive year of less than 3% growth in U.S. gross domestic product.

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 Americans were to say the economy is doing poorly and getting worse.

The current conditions score for the week ending Jan. 29 was +14, up two points from the previous week's record high. This was based on 34% of Americans rating the economy as "excellent" or "good," and 20% rating it as "poor."

The economic outlook score was +13, the same as the prior week, and was based on 53% of Americans saying economic conditions in the country were "getting better," and 40% saying they were "getting worse."

U.S. Economic Confidence Index Components

Bottom Line

Americans' confidence in the U.S. economy remained positive last week despite news that U.S. GDP had slowed considerably in the fourth quarter of 2016. While that report may have dampened economic spirits a bit, the new record set for the Dow Jones industrial average -- which surpassed the 20,000 mark on Wednesday -- may have softened the blow.

Ultimately, though, the upswing in economic confidence is largely attributable to shifting partisan viewpoints under a new political order. Trump enjoys a level of economic optimism that the U.S. hasn't seen in quite some time -- but this could also place greater expectations on the new president, who starts his term with economic confidence at a much higher level than his predecessor did. With confidence falling somewhat near the end of the week after achieving its highest point in at least nine years, economic confidence may have reached its peak for the time being.

These data are available in Gallup Analytics.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 23-29, 2017, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 3,549 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% 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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