U.S. economic confidence remained relatively stable at a rate of -28 in the week ended last Friday, according to the latest survey from Gallup. In the previous week, the reading was -27. Gallup's confidence index consists of two parts, one which assesses current conditions and one that assesses the economic outlook.
According to Gallup, 43% 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, 60% say the economy is "getting worse" and just 35% say it is "getting better." The firm notes that respondents are more likely to believe that the economy is getting worse in every week since Gallup started tracking confidence levels in January of 2008.
Gas prices have been going up in recent weeks, and it is possible that this has negatively affected Americans' views of the economy. If prices go down again, as they usually do at the end of the summer, Americans could become more positive.
The rise in equity prices has not had much of an impact on perceptions, and Gallup speculates that other factors - particularly unemployment - may be playing a larger role in economic optimism, or the lack thereof.
Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Economy, Research