Confidence in the U.S. economy rose 4 points in the week ending October 28th, from a reading of -19 to -14, the highest reading since 2008 when Gallup began tracking economic confidence. The previous all-time high of -16 was reached in May of this year. As Gallup noted:
[T]he current daily tracking data, conducted on the eve of the presidential election, are the most positive Gallup has found during the last five years, roughly corresponding to the entire span of the economic downturn.
The rise was due to increases in both the outlook for the economy and from Americans’ confidence in current economic conditions. Gallup reports that the index for the economic outlook rose 8 points to -4 while the index for current conditions rose three points, from -26 to -23. Gallup said that 45% of Americans now say the economy is getting better although 49% say it is getting worse.
As usual, respondents self-identified political affiliation colored the results. Democrats posted a positive reading of 33, up 10 points from the previous reading, while Independents posted a reading of -19 and Republicans posted a reading of -57. The gains were registered in respondents outlook, not their view of current conditions.
[T]he majority of Americans still say the economy is fair or poor, and a slight plurality say the economy is getting worse rather than better. While the last few weeks have brought some positive economic news — such as a decline in unemployment rates reported by both the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Gallup and, in the past few days, reports of stronger GDP growth during the third quarter — it is doubtful this news alone will push economic confidence into the net positive range in the coming weeks.