July economic confidence index (ECI) averaged minus 8, virtually unchanged from May's minus 7. The May reading was the highest monthly score since Gallup began tracking economic confidence daily in January 2008. The stronger May and June ratings pushed the average confidence score for the second quarter of 2013 to minus 9, the third consecutive quarter the index has improved. The minus 9 second quarter score is also the best Gallup has measured for any quarter to date since it began daily tracking of confidence in 2008.
While U.S. stock prices declined in June, the Dow and S&P still had their best performances in the first half of the year since the late 1990s. Higher stock prices this year and increased optimism about housing prices have likely contributed to Americans' growing confidence.
The June result is based on two components – assessments of current economic conditions and their perceptions of whether the economy is getting better or worse. Americans remain more negative than positive toward the U.S economy's current state and future momentum. Americans' net economic outlook was minus 3 in June, similar to the minus 1 recorded in May -- the highest monthly economic outlook score in more than five years. The current score is based on 46 percent of Americans saying the economy is getting better and 49 percent saying it is getting worse. Americans' assessments of current economic conditions were essentially unchanged in June, at minus 12. The score reflects 20 percent of Americans rating current U.S. economic conditions as excellent or good and 32 percent saying they are poor.
Americans' confidence in the economy held steady at a relatively high level in June, despite volatility in the U.S. stock market and a tepid unemployment report. Still, Americans remain more negative than positive about the U.S. economy.