Overall, Americans felt considerably better about the U.S. economy in November, after Gallup's monthly Economic Confidence Index took a hit in October due to the 16-day partial shutdown of the U.S. government, according to Gallup's report released today. The Economic Index averaged -25 across all demographic groups, significantly better than October's -35 but still below the -19 notched in September.
As November showed a marked improvement, it was the first time Americans were feeling more confident about the economy than the previous month since May's index averaged -7. Since that time, the index had steadily declined each month, until last month's uptick.
There were distinct differences on how confident Americans are about the state of the current economy and its future based on income and political affiliation. Democrats, for example, were far and away the most confident in the economy, jumping from -9 points on the index the previous month, to +4 in November. That is a dramatic departure from the sour view Republicans had on the U.S. economy in November, registering -50 on Gallup's index. Independents nearly matched the sentiment of all Americans, averaging -28 in November, up from October's -41.
As was the case with political affiliation, Americans differed in their views of the economy based on income levels. American households earning over $90,000 annually averaged -16 in November's Economic Confidence Index, compared to -27 for those with less than $90,000 in household income.
Gallup's Economic Confidence Index is derived from phone interviews with more than 14,000 American adults. The interviews consist of two parts: an assessment of the U.S. economy's current state, as well as Americans' perception of whether the economy will get better, or worse, going forward.