Though Americans seem to be slowly gaining the confidence to spend more of their money, those same Americans are increasingly pessimistic about the U.S. economy.
Gallup today released the results of its daily tracing poll for the month of October, showing that the pollster's economic confidence index now sits at -35. This is down from -19 at the end of September, making the 16-point drop the largest Gallup has seen since it started tracking economic confidence each day in 2008. The index had reached -7 back in May, but has continued to drop each month since.
The decline was directly associated by Gallup with the government shutdown that occurred during the first half of the month. The pollster's daily metrics for economic confidence began to sink as House Republicans threatened shutdown in late September, and the shutdown itself came on the same week Gallup saw its largest weekly drop in confidence since the recession began in 2008. The confidence drop became even steeper the next week as the shutdown continued.
All major demographics that Gallup polled saw economic confidence drops last month including Democrats, who had a positive economic outlook the previous month. Overall, 68% of the more than 15,000 Americans polled by Gallup stated that the U.S. economy is getting worse.
Evaluations of the current state of the economy weren't quite as bad, perhaps explaining why Americans are still comfortable spending more going into the holiday quarter. Still, 44% of those polled stated that the current U.S. economy is "poor," with only 15% stating that it is now "excellent" or even "good."