U.S. Economic Confidence Surges After Election by Gallup - Justin
McCarthy and Jeffrey M. Jones | November 15, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans'
confidence in the U.S. economy increased sharply after the
election, moving from a slightly negative evaluation (-10)
to a slightly positive one (+3). Gallup's U.S. Economic
Confidence Index had been consistently negative throughout
the year leading up to the election.
Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index
is the average of two components: how Americans rate current
economic conditions and whether they feel the economy is
improving or getting worse. The index has a theoretical
maximum of +100 if all Americans were to say the economy
is doing well and improving, and a theoretical minimum of
-100 if all Americans were to say the economy is doing poorly
and getting worse.
The index has registered positive only a
handful of times over the nine years Gallup has tracked
it daily -- the most recent being March 2015. For the week
of Nov. 7-13, including two pre-election and five post-election
days of interviewing, the index averaged 0.
The increase in economic confidence mostly
stems from Republicans' more positive views after Republican
Donald Trump won the election. Gallup has previously noted
that Americans view the economy through a political lens.
Republicans have had a dismal view of the economy -- especially
of its future direction -- during Democratic President Barack
Obama's two terms.
Republicans' Economic Outlook Improves
After Trump won last week's election, Republicans
and Republican-leaning independents now have a much more
optimistic view of the U.S. economy's outlook than they
did before the election. Just 16% of Republicans said the
economy was getting better in the week before the election,
while 81% said it was getting worse. Since the election,
49% say it is getting better and 44% worse.
Conversely, Democrats and Democratic-leaning
independents' confidence in the economy plummeted after
the election. Before the election, 61% of Democrats said
the economy was getting better and 35% worse. Now, Democrats
are evenly divided, with 46% saying it is getting better
and 47% saying it is getting worse.
Republicans Less Negative About
Current Economic Conditions
In addition to being more optimistic about
the economy's future than they were before the election,
Republicans are also slightly less negative about where
economic conditions currently stand -- likely because they
will have a Republican president in the near future. However,
they remain negative overall about the current state of
the economy under the incumbent Democratic president. It
is likely that their view of current economic conditions
will further improve, possibly into positive territory,
when Trump takes office in January.
Republicans' current conditions component
score has increased to -5, up significantly from -21 before
the election. The latest score is the result of 21% of Republicans
saying the economy is "excellent" or "good,"
and 26% saying it is "poor."
Democrats, on the other hand, have become
more negative in their views of the current state of the
U.S. economy, but the change is smaller among this group.
Democrats' component score fell to +17 after the election,
compared with +26 beforehand.
The election of Trump has transformed the
way Republicans and Democrats view the economy, particularly
in their assessments of whether it is getting better or
worse. But given the political and economic tumult of the
past week, measures of the index in the coming weeks may
be more indicative of U.S. economic confidence in the year
ahead. On the one hand, global markets trembled on election
night as Trump's victory became clearer. On the other hand,
U.S. markets rallied later in the week, with the Dow Jones
industrial average reaching a new high on Monday.
It's too early to say whether these are
sustainable gains in confidence. But in the immediate future,
Trump's victory has improved his party's confidence in the
economy. Barring any major events, it is likely that Republicans
will shift to a positive index score once the incoming president
takes office, while Democrats' confidence will take a hit.
These data are available in Gallup Analytics.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on
telephone interviews conducted Nov. 9-13, 2016, on the Gallup
U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 2,532 adults,
aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the
District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample
of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage
points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins
of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.
Each sample of national adults includes
a minimum quota of 60% cellphone respondents and 40% landline
respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone
within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are
selected using random-digit-dial methods.