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U.S. economic confidence holds steady in positive territory

Staff Writer |
Americans remain slightly more optimistic than pessimistic about the state of the economy.

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Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index averaged +7 for the week ending February 19, unchanged from the prior week. This is the 14th week in a row that the index has been positive.

Americans' views of the economy have improved significantly since the U.S. presidential election.

In nearly nine years - from when Gallup began tracking economic confidence daily in January 2008 to the November 2016 presidential election - Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index was positive in only nine weeks, all of which occurred in late 2014 or early 2015.

While the index generally improved between Donald Trump's election and his first full week in office, it has receded since. It dropped from a nine-year high of +14 for the week ending Jan. 29 to +8 the following week and has yet to bounce back.

Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index is the average of two components: how Americans rate current economic conditions and whether they feel the economy is improving or getting worse.

The index has a theoretical maximum of +100 if all Americans were to say the economy is doing well and improving, and a theoretical minimum of -100 if all Americans were to say the economy is doing poorly and getting worse.

Last week, the current conditions component of the index stood at +13, based on 33% of Americans rating the current economic conditions of the country as "excellent" or "good," and 20% rating conditions as "poor."

This is similar to the week before, when 32% said conditions were excellent or good and 19% said they were poor.

Meanwhile, the economic outlook score for last week was +1, unchanged from the prior week.

But relative to Trump's first full week in office, fewer Americans believe the economy is "getting better." While slightly less than half believed this last week (47%), a clear majority believed this (53%) three weeks ago.

A previous Gallup analysis has shown that the drop in the percentage of Americans who believe the economy is getting better is primarily attributable to worsening attitudes among Democrats.

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