According to the latest data from Gallup, Americans’ confidence in the economy fell to an index reading of -29 last week, equal to the January level and well below the -16 reading in late May. And while the confidence reading is headed in the wrong direction, it remains well above the -52 readings of September and October of 2011.
Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index combines a rating on current conditions and one on perceived future conditions. Those surveyed maintained a rating of -28 on current conditions, but showed declining confidence in future conditions. The future index fell from -22 in the prior week to -29 in the past week. This marks the first time this year that perceptions of the current and future condition of the U.S. economy have essentially converged, following the big drop in respondents’ outlook for the future.
Based on political party affiliation, Republicans (83%) and independents (63%) say the economy is getting worse, while 55% of Democrats believe the economy is improving.
Gallup attributes the growing lack of confidence in the economy to the stagnant unemployment numbers coupled with few signs that the economy is set to make any significant improvement. The most recent data on U.S. GDP growth in the second quarter has further depressed confidence in the economy.