The way Americans view the economy has undergone a dramatic shift in the week since Donald Trump was elected president of the United States.
There was a surge in economic confidence according to Gallup’s weekly tracking poll of how Americans feel about the direction of the country.
Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index, based on an average of how Americans view current economic conditions and whether or not they think the economy is improving, gives a score between -100 (every respondent says the economy is bad and getting worse) and +100 (every respondent says the economy is good and getting better).
The index registered a -10 during polling done over November 1-7 — before the November 8 election — and then jumped up to +3 for the post-election November 9-13 period. This is the first time the index was not in negative territory since March 2015.
The 13 point jump, according to Gallup, primarily came from a partisan shift following the election.
“The increase in economic confidence mostly stems from Republicans’ more positive views after Republican Donald Trump won the election,” said the release from Gallup.
“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.”
In fact, the proportion of Republicans saying the economy is getting better improved from just 16% in the pre-election period to 49% after Trump was elected. For Democrats, it did the opposite, falling from 61% to 46%.
“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,” said the release. “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.”
It is important to note — despite the huge swing in Gallup’s polling — unemployment is still low, inflation is still undershooting the desired target, wage growth is hitting its highest level since the recession, and corporations have just emerged from an earnings recession.
Basically, opinions have changed but the underlying economic conditions haven’t. Go figure.