The latest reading from Gallup's August U.S. Economic Confidence Index is -27, on par with the January reading, matching the low for the year to date. The index's highest reading for 2012 of -17 came in May. An index reading of below zero indicates a lack of confidence in the combined current conditions and future direction sub-index readings.
The current conditions index fell slightly from the July reading, from -28 to -29. The outlook reading also fell, from -23 in July to -26 in August. Gallup note the political implications of the index:
Continuing a pattern seen since July, economic confidence fell slightly last month among independents and Republicans - down three points each - while it held steady or even improved slightly among Democrats. The relatively high confidence among Democrats reflects the historical pattern: those who identify with the president's party are more upbeat in their economic attitudes than either independents or those who identify with the opposing party.
Gallup's forecast for the September reading calls for no significant improvement over the August reading. The polling firm lays the blame for the poor readings mainly at the feet of the weak U.S. employment picture.
Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Economy, Research