Gallup's Economic Confidence Index Gallup's Economic Confidence Index has risen two points over past two weeks.
averaged minus-11 for the week ending Dec. 6, similar to the previous week's score of minus-12. The current score is on the higher end of the minus-11 to minus-15 range Gallup has found since September, after one-point improvements in each of the past two weeks.
Gallup's Economic Confidence Index averages two components: how Americans view the economy currently and whether they see it improving or getting worse.
The index has a theoretical maximum of +100, if all Americans were to rate the economy as "excellent" or "good" and "getting better"; and a theoretical minimum of -100, if all were to rate the economy as "poor" and "getting worse."
For the week ending Dec. 6, 24% of Americans rated the current economy as "excellent" or "good," while 30% rated it as "poor." This resulted in a current conditions score of -6, identical to scores for the previous three weeks, and not far off from most readings over the year.
The economic outlook score last week was -15, reflecting 40% of Americans saying the economy is "getting better" and 55% saying it is "getting worse." This is a bit higher than figures found in the past several weeks. Through most of Gallup's trend, the economic outlook score has been lower than the current conditions score.
Meanwhile, Forbes.com contributor Brad McMillan wonders if the U.S. economy is headed to a slowdown next year.
“It is, therefore, time to take the idea of a slowdown seriously. Although the fundamentals remain solid in many areas, it is quite possible that enough of a sentiment shift is occurring to make a slowdown a self-fulfilling prophecy. What could this mean for 2016?,” he asked on Forbes.com.
“Let’s define our terms here. At this point, a slowdown would mean growth (again) of around 2 percent, not a recession. It would mean reverting to the start/stop growth model of the past couple of years. What it would not mean is another 2008,” he explained.
“Nonetheless, a slowdown is worth taking seriously, if only to consider just how bad it could be. As noted above, as we approach normal, it looks like we might end up with only a normal slowdown—which, in the context of the past 10 years, is not that bad at all.”
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