According to the latest Weekly Economic Confidence poll released by Gallup, Americans' confidence in the US economy is getting worse. The poll asks people to rate the economy as of today, and whether or not the economy as a whole is getting better or worse.
It turns out that ordinary people are not as excited about the US economy as those who are cheerleading minimum wage job creation and market levels being close to all time highs, and certainly not as excited as that group of people called each month by either the Conference Board or UMich, the two far more closely tracked confidence indicators.
The Economic Confidence Index for the week ending April 10th came in at -14. Down from the prior week, and hitting a low not seen since the first week of November last year.
Digging a little deeper into the detail, Gallup reveals that people are viewing the economic outlook to be much worse than current conditions. While both components are getting worse, the economic outlook plummeted. The score of -22 reflects 37% of US adults saying the economy is "getting better", while 59% say it's "getting worse."
This is how Gallup concludes:
Americans' views of the national economy have been somewhat turbulent over the last several weeks, with confidence improving one week only to fall the following week. From a broad perspective, economic confidence so far this year has neither moved into a sustained period of positivity nor entered into a steady decline. Americans are confronted with presidential candidates using the economy as one of their talking points, mixed signals from national economic reports, volatility in the stock market and an apparent end of sub-$2 gas prices nationally -- all of which may be affecting their economic assessments.
Americans' cautiousness in their assessments of the economy may not be far off from those of economic leaders, however. Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen has been slow to raise interest rates, with some economists arguing Yellen has been overly cautious and has underestimated the economy's actual strength. Yellen's critics say the slow pace of raising rates will put the Fed at a disadvantage, with the possibility of increased inflation as the economy reaches its employment targets.
The disconnect in sentiment between everyday people and financial pundits must just be the result of a communications issue. And of course, we look forward to the UMich confidence report to beat expectations when it is released in just a few minutes.