Inflation at a 13-year high, gas shortages, a jobs report that missed the mark by nearly 500 percent — is there any reason to feel economic confidence in President Joe Biden’s administration?
Americans certainly don’t think so. According to a Gallup poll released Monday, the economic confidence index fell back into negative territory after rising during the first months of Biden’s presidency.
Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index, which was +2 in April, went down to -7 in May.
That’s the same level it was at in March, Gallup reported. The numbers have been steadily rising over the past few months, although the polling firm noted there could be reasons for the sudden downturn.
“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,” Gallup reported.
“Last month, Americans were more positive than negative on both measures, while their readings are net-negative on both this month. Twenty-seven percent of Americans now rate current economic conditions as excellent or good, while 30% rate them as poor. Meanwhile, 43% say the economy is getting better, and 53% say it is getting worse.”
This is, mind you, as the country gets back to some semblance of normal. States are opening up, vaccines are readily available and we’re even starting to ditch the mask and get together in public again. We should be thrilled, right?
We’re not — and according to Gallup’s numbers, that’s bad news for the Biden administration.
“Greater concern about the economy is also apparent in the increased percentage of Americans mentioning an economic issue when asked to name the most important problem facing the U.S. Currently, 21% cite an economic issue — such as the economy in general, unemployment or the federal budget deficit — up from 14% in April and the highest since April 2017,” the Gallup news release stated.
“Even during the worst phases of the coronavirus pandemic, Americans’ attention was focused more on the coronavirus and other issues as the most important problem, including times when economic confidence was much lower than today. Before the current survey, the highest percentage mentioning economic matters as the most important problem since the pandemic began was 19% in June.”