For the month of November, the Gallup U.S. economic confidence index came in at -13, an improvement of 4 points from October’s reading of -17 and the best monthly reading since Gallup began tracking economic confidence in January of 2008.
Gallup noted that the reading for the first week of November was -10, the highest weekly reading ever. The polling firm noted:
Confidence has remained relatively stable even as the “fiscal cliff’s” major tax increases and spending cuts loom unless the government can come to an agreement in the coming weeks.
The economic outlook component of the index posted a best-ever reading of -5 for November, and the current conditions component posted a reading of -21, its best reading since March 2008.
Regarding last week’s general election, Gallup said:
[T]he performance of the stock market, future reports on unemployment and economic growth, and perhaps more immediately, the fate of the fiscal cliff budget measures, may cause Americans’ to become increasingly more, or increasingly less, confident in the U.S. economy in the coming weeks and months.
As the effect on last month’s elections recede, Gallup suggests that the connection between economic confidence and politics will weaken. The company does not mention the financial crisis in Europe or a potential boost from strong holiday sales as having any implications going forward. Earlier this month both figured into Gallup’s outlook.