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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

U.S. Economic Confidence Plunges in Past Two Weeks

Americans' economic confidence plunged to -53 in the week ending Aug. 7, a level not seen since the recession days of March 2009. This deterioration coincided with the final wrangling over the U.S. debt ceiling and Standard and Poor's downgrade of the United States' debt rating. Economic confidence is now far worse than the -43 of two weeks ago and the -34 of a month ago.
Economic Confidence Index by Week, May-August 2010 and 2011

U.S. economic confidence deteriorated even faster in July and the first week of August than it did in June compared with May. This plunge in confidence contrasts with the relatively flat trend in 2010. It also places consumer perceptions of the economy in the range of March 2009 during the recession. Gallup's Economic Confidence Index hit its recession/financial crisis weekly low of -65 -- just 12 points worse than now -- during the week of Oct. 6-12, 2008.

Gallup's Economic Confidence Index combines two measures: one assessing Americans' views about whether the U.S. economy is "getting better" or "getting worse," and the second involving Americans' ratings of current economic conditions as "excellent," "good," "only fair," or "poor." The Index's inception was in January 2008. Both weekly ratings are at their lows since early 2009. (more)