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Economic confidence in U.S. hovers near 2016 low

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Staff Writer | July 28, 2016
Americans' confidence in the economy remains near its 2016 low, with Gallup's Economic Confidence Index at -16 for the week ending July 24.
U.S. economic confidence
America   The Gallup Economic Confidence Index
This represents essentially no change from the week before when the index was at -17, its lowest score in 2016.

In recent months, the Gallup Economic Confidence Index has languished near the low end of its 2015-2016 performance.

The index reached a score of -7 in January when President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address. In mid-April, the index reversed course falling to -16, as reports of weak retail sales were released and gas prices rose slightly.

The index improved slightly in May, hitting -12 in the final week of that month before edging downward in mid-June. Economic confidence hit a low of -17 for the week ending June 26; it would hit this low point twice more in the following four weeks.

This slumping confidence came even as the U.S. financial markets shook off the initial shock of the Brexit vote and the economy added far more jobs than expected in June.

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 say the economy is doing well and improving, and a theoretical minimum of -100 if all Americans say the economy is doing poorly and getting worse.

The current conditions score was -6 last week, essentially where it has been since early June. This reflects 25% saying current economic conditions are "excellent" or "good" and 31% saying they are "poor."

With 35% of U.S. adults saying economic conditions in the country were "getting better" and 60% saying they were "getting worse," last week's economic outlook score came in at -25.

This marked the sixth consecutive week this measure has registered a value of -23 or lower. Over the course of 2016, the economic outlook score has dropped more than the current conditions score.