Americans felt slightly less confident in the economy last week, as their perceptions of current conditions dimmed somewhat. Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index averaged +4 for the week ending Nov. 19, down from the previous reading of +7.
The modest fall in economic confidence last week snaps a two-week stretch of the index averaging +7, the highest score since August.
Confidence is now closer to its average level so far this year (+5), meaning that the measure's decline last week represents a return to more typical levels.
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 were to say the economy is doing poorly and getting worse.
Driving down Americans' overall level of confidence last week was the small drop in perceptions of the economy's current economic conditions. The current conditions component averaged +13 for the week ending Nov. 19, with 35% of Americans describing the economy as "excellent" or "good" and 22% describing the economy as "poor." The latest current conditions score is down five points from the previous reading (+18), which was tied with the highest Gallup had measured since the recession. The current reading is in line with the component's average over the past 13 weeks.
Views on the direction of the economy, however, were steady last week, with the outlook component at -5, compared with the previous observation of -4. Last week, 45% of Americans said the economy was "getting better," while 50% said the economy was "getting worse."
(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).
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