Americans are a bit more upbeat about their economic fortunes as the nation heads toward a presidential election next week.
Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index reached a four year high for the week ending Oct. 28 — the highest level of weekly confidence in the economy since it began daily tracking of economic confidence in 2008.
The index climbed to -14 from -19 last week. The negative reading means the amount of people pessimistic about the economy still tops the number who are optimistic.
“Although economic confidence had its best showing since Gallup began daily tracking in 2008, the majority of Americans still say the economy is fair or poor, and a slight plurality say the economy is getting worse rather than better,” writes Jenny Marlar of Gallup.
“While the last few weeks have brought some positive economic news, . . . it is doubtful this news alone will push economic confidence into the net positive range in the coming weeks.”
Both components of the index registered gains — one that covers current economic conditions and the other that covers the economic outlook going forward.
As for current conditions, 16 percent of Americans believe the economy is excellent or good, and 39 percent think it’s poor. That produces a -23 rating, up from -26 a week earlier and the best since May.
When it comes to the economic outlook, 45 percent of respondents say the economy is improving, while 49 percent say it’s getting worse. That means a rating of -4, up from -12 last week and the best since 2008.
Democrats are much more optimistic than Republicans. The economic confidence index for the former hit 33, up 10 points from last week. For Republicans, the figure was -57, up 5 points. Independents’ confidence index ticked up one point to -19.
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