Economic confidence slips for first time since last fall: Gallup

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Americans’ confidence in the economy has dropped nine points since last month, the first time it has slipped since the fall, a survey by Gallup found.

The Gallup Economic Confidence Index, which summarizes the public’s view on the current economic conditions, is at -29 for April, behind -20 for March.

The index has a theoretical range of +100, if all people rate current economic conditions as good, or -100, if all people rate the economy as poor.

Twenty-four percent of U.S. adults say the current economic conditions are “excellent” or “good,” while 32 percent say they are “only fair.” Forty-four percent rate the economic conditions as “poor,” Gallup reported.

The share of people who gave excellent or good ratings decreased in the last month, while the number of people who said conditions are poor increased since March.

Outlooks dimmed across political lines in April. Democrats, who Gallup noted have been the “most economically optimistic,” saw a four-point decline in their index score from 35 to 31 since March, while independents’ dropped 10 points from -28 to -38. Republicans, notably negative toward the economy under President Biden, overwhelmingly said economic conditions look poor: Their confidence fell from -62 in March to -71.

The overall index reached its lowest point over the past year in Oct. 2023, at -41. Since then, it’s climbed, meaning Americans view the economy as getting better.

In the last 20 years, the highest index score was +56 in January 2000. The lowest was -72 in October 2008, Gallup noted.

The index dropped quite a bit during the early stages of the pandemic, from +41 in February 2020 to -32 in April 2020. Since then it has only briefly gone above zero in April 2021 and June 2021 before returning to the negatives.

The survey was conducted April 1-22, as gas prices and inflation rose, the stock market gave back its record gains and interest rates remained high, Gallup noted. It was conducted among 1,001 adults and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

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