The latest data from Gallup indicates that confidence in the U.S. economy remains near January levels of -27. The index has been wobbling in a tight range of -23 to -29 since late May. Gallup's confidence index consists of two parts, one which assesses current conditions and one that assesses the economic outlook.
According to Gallup, 41% of respondents consider current economic conditions to be "poor" and only 13% consider conditions to be "excellent" or "good." As far as the outlook is concerned, 61% say the economy is "getting worse" and just 35% say it is "getting better."
The August report on nonfarm payrolls, which showed unemployment increasing to 8.3%, surely contributed to the weakness in confidence, even though the U.S. economy added more jobs than expected in July. Gallup also notes:
Stock prices have also generally remained flat over the past several weeks, with no major gains or losses being sustained, and little has changed in the European economy. If economic indicators remain flat, as they have over the past two months, little change can be expected in the Economic Confidence Index.
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