A poll shows that Americans’ confidence in the economy continues to collapse this month, making it bad news for the Biden administration, which has insisted that the economy is doing great.
Gallup’s latest poll released on Wednesday, Oct. 28, indicated that the Gallup Economic Confidence Index fell to -25 in October, the lowest since early in the COVID-19 pandemic when the measure hit minus 33 in April 2020 and minus 28 the following month.
The index has a theoretical range of +100 (if all respondents say the economy is excellent or good and is getting better) to minus 100 (if all say it is poor and getting worse).
Before the pandemic erupted in the United States, Americans’ confidence reached as high as +41 in February 2020, the best reading since 2000.
In its October survey (from Oct. 1 to Oct. 19), 68% of Americans said the U.S. economy is getting worse, compared to 63% who had the same opinion in September.
Democrats’ and Republicans’ views of the economy were essentially unchanged in October, but independents’ outlook worsened, with the percentage of independents who say economic conditions are getting worse increased to 72% from 63%.
The survey showed that 3/4 of Americans rated the current economic conditions in the country as only fair (42%) or poor (33%).
Most American people cited economic issues, not COVID-19, for their weakening confidence in the economy.
“The government or poor leadership is most often mentioned as the top problem facing the U.S., cited by 21% of Americans,” Gallup wrote. “With COVID-19 vaccinations up and cases falling after the summer surge, mentions of the disease have dropped six points, to 15%.”
Immigration (11%), unifying the country (7%), the federal budget deficit (6%), the economy in general (6%), inflation (5%), race relations (5%), with unemployment (4%) and moral decline (4%) as the next-most-mentioned issues.
COVID-19 remains the top issue among Democrats (25%), while government/poor leadership (27%) and illegal immigration (23%) are mentioned most by Republicans, and Independents cite government most (21%).
The latest survey suggests that the economy’s negative aspects, such as high inflation, a worker shortage, and the supply chain challenges, outweigh the positive aspects of the economy, such as low unemployment and positive job market, and high stock values.