The latest reading from Gallup's August U.S. Economic Confidence Index is -18, a sharp rise from the -29 reading from the week before. The index's best reading for 2012 of -16 came in May. An index reading of below zero indicates a lack of confidence in the combined current conditions and future direction subindex readings.
The one-week gain of 11 points is the largest gain in the index since Gallup began tracking in January 2008. The -18 reading is also among the best in the survey's history.
And Gallup offers this explanation for the jump:
It appears that the spark for the dramatic rise in Americans' economic confidence last week was the Democratic National Convention. A review of Gallup's nightly tracking results shows that the index was consistently near or below -25 each night in late August and early September, but then sharply improved on Sept. 4, the first night of the convention, to -18. … More specifically, the convention appears to have given Democrats and, to a lesser degree, independents, fresh optimism about the economy. Democrats' confidence for the week spanning the convention averaged +24, up 17 points from +7 the prior week. Confidence was up 13 points among independents, but was virtually unchanged among Republicans.
Although Gallup does not say so, it is reasonable to expect the surge in confidence to melt as reality once again rears its ugly head.
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