Economic confidence drops back to early pandemic low: Gallup

Americans’ confidence in the economy has plummeted to levels not seen since the early pandemic, according a new poll released by Gallup Wednesday.  

The polling numbers come amid the highest inflation experienced in the U.S. since 1982, according to global analytics firm. 

Forty percent of Americans rate the current economic conditions as fair. Forty-two percent of those polled rate the current economic situation as “poor.” 

A majority of Americans, (67 percent) believe economic conditions are getting worse in the country, according to the poll. There has been a 6-point increase in the number of Americans that have rated the economy as poor since November. 

All of these statistics factor into Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index (ECI). The ECI is at -33, according to the analytics firm, the same level read on the index in April of 2020. 

The lowest ECI was recorded in 2008 (-72), during the Great Recession. 

The lack of economy confidence at the beginning of the pandemic was due to uncertainty around lockdowns, social distancing and layoffs and its effects on Americans’ bottom line.  

But the new numbers from Gallup come amid a spate of economic hitches including supply chain issues, labor shortages and a high level of inflation, particularly at the gas pump. 

Twenty-nine perfect of American adults surveyed said that an economic concern is country’s biggest problem, the highest level in five years. 

Out of the 29 percent of those worried about the economy, 11 percent have general concerns, 6 percent cite inflation issues, 4 percent cite the federal budget deficit, 3 percent cite unemployment issues, and 2 percent cite the differences between the rich and poor. 

However, 21 percent of those surveyed said that poor government leadership was the most important problem in the U.S. Thirteen percent said that COVID-19 was the most important problem, and 11 percent said the top issue was the “economy in general.” 

The poll was conducted through Dec. 1-16 and surveyed 811 registered voters. The margin of error was 4 percentage points.

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