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Gallup Survey: Two-Thirds Say Economy Worsening

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The U.S. economy has shown some recent signs of improvement, with inflation coming down and unemployment staying low, but Americans continue to evaluate the economy negatively overall, according to a new Gallup survey.

Interest rates have soared in the past year, and food prices are high.

Still, Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index rose by 11 points this month. The index summarizes Americans’ evaluations of current economic conditions and their assessment of whether the economy is getting better or worse. It has a theoretical range of minus-100 to  plus-100. 

The index has mostly been in negative territory over the past three years. It dropped to minus-58, the worst since the Great Recession, amid soaring inflation and gas prices in June 2022.

Gallup’s index increased from minus-43 in May to minus-32 in June and is the highest it has been since January 2022 (minus-26). The increase in June could have been a reflection of the debt ceiling agreement signed between President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. In addition, the stock market gained in recent months.

Currently, 19% of Americans rate economic conditions as excellent or good and 44% as poor (with 37% describing them as “only fair”), for a minus-25 score on the current conditions component of the index. That compares with a minus-30 score for current conditions in May and is the best measured since a minus-22 reading in April 2022.

The economic outlook component showed more substantial improvement. Now, 27% of Americans say the economy is getting better versus 66% who say it is getting worse, for a minus-39 outlook score. In May, the outlook component score was minus-56, based on 20% saying the economy was getting better and 76% worse.

Republicans remain highly pessimistic about the economy, with a minus-65 index score, while independents are at minus-35 and Democrats are in positive territory at plus-5.

For its surveys, Gallup interviews a minimum of 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia using a dual-frame design, which includes landline and cellphone numbers.

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