Americans' confidence in the economy plunged to its lowest weekly level so far this year and the worst level since last summer.
Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index
averaged minus-16 for the week ending April 24. The latest figure represents a four-point drop from the previous week's average. The last time Gallup found a lower weekly score was in August 2015.
“Pessimism has increased despite a strong stock market in recent weeks and a persistent low unemployment rate,” Gallup explained.
“However, there have been reports of weak retail sales and expectations of low first quarter economic growth. Gas prices have also started to rise, although they remain well below where they were for most of the past decade. Finally, consistent statements from presidential candidates about how they would fix the U.S. economy if elected might play a part in keeping Americans' economic optimism at lower levels.”
Meanwhile, a new study released by The Levy Economic Institute
found that 90 percent of Americans earn roughly the same real income today as they earned back in the early 1970s.
Economic stagnation didn’t reach the remaining 10 percent of the population, which has seen a sharp rise in their real incomes (income adjusted for inflation) over the same period, according to the study
“Simply put, for the vast majority of Americans, the dream of a better life was lost back in the early 1970s,” explains Forbes Contributor Panos Mourdoukoutas.
To be sure, a Federal Reserve official recently said the United States is no longer the top country for achieving the American Dream.
“While income mobility in the United States has been relatively unchanged, it remains well below several other nations,” New York Fed President William Dudley said in a speech
about economic opportunity and income mobility.
“The probability of moving from the bottom quintile to the top quintile is 7.5 percent in the United States, as compared to 11.7 percent in Denmark and 13.5 percent in Canada — two countries with relatively high levels of intergenerational mobility.”
“So effectively the chance of achieving the American Dream is not the highest for children born in America,” said Dudley, a permanent voter on policy.
“Broadly, the economy’s potential growth rate depends on effectively investing in and taking advantage of all of the resources in the economy — in particular, we need to achieve the full potential of the human capital of all Americans,” Dudley said.
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