Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index registered a score of +2 in April, the first time it has been net positive since early March 2020, just before then-President Donald Trump declared a national emergency amid rising coronavirus infections. The U.S. entered a brief but severe recession as business activity slowed amid stay-at-home orders, with the index dropping to -32 in early April. Americans’ economic evaluations improved in the ensuing months, staying just inside negative territory at -1 immediately after the presidential election and slumped again amid rising COVID-19 infections and deaths in the U.S., dropping back to -21 in January, before improving in each of the past three months, including a nine-point increase in this month.
The latest results are based on an April 1-21 survey by Gallup. Gallup’s Economic Confidence bases their Economic report card on surveys of the public, who assigns the economy a status based on their viewpoint. In the new survey, 28% describe current economic conditions as either excellent or good, while 26% say they are poor. Last month, 23% rated current conditions as excellent or good and 31% as poor. While this April report is positive, and the trend is improving, the number of people who feel that the economy remains poor is about equal to the number of people who are encouraged by the economy’s state.
A majority of Americans also express confidence in two of the president’s chief economic advisers — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary (and former Federal Reserve Chair) Janet Yellen. Americans are somewhat less confident in Democratic leaders in Congress as a whole and much less confident in Republican congressional leaders.
Such a survey may well underlie the criteria that people use when they vote. This survey bodes well for the Democrats in comparison to the Republicans, as people are feeling the economy is going in the right direction, and they are feeling fairly negatively about the performance of the Republicans.