American Economic Confidence Fell Back to Negative in May

President Joe Biden walks with Vice President Kamala Harris after speaking on updated guidance on face mask mandates and COVID-19 response, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Thursday, May 13, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The honeymoon is over.

Economic confidence slipped back into negative territory, according to survey data released by Gallup on Monday.

Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index dropped to -7, down from +2 in April and back to the level registered in March.

Gallup said the recent shifts in confidence “may reflect public reaction to a stronger-than-anticipated jobs report in April, followed by a weaker-than-expected report in May.” It is also likely that confidence has been shaken by rising prices and shortages of some products and materials, including the recent widespread gas shortages.

In February of 2020, prior to the pandemic hitting public perceptions, Gallup’s economic confidence index stood at 41.

The decline in May came mostly from a sharp drop in Republican confidence in the month. Republicans in the index register at -52, down from -35 in April. Democrat confidence declined from 31 to 27. Independents went from -4 to -3, a slight improvement.

Two-thirds of Democrats say the economy is getting better, according to Gallup.  Just 13 percent of Republicans agree. More than eight in 10 Republicans, 84 percent, believe the economy is getting worse. Independents are slightly more likely to say the economy is getting worse (50%) rather than getting better (44%), Gallup said.



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