Economic confidence is the lowest it’s been in America since 2009

Economic confidence in America has reached an all-time low, according to Gallup's Economic Confidence Index. Find out more about the current state of the economy and what this could mean for you.


by Aline Barbosa

Published on 06/01/2022

In a new survey by Gallup, 46% of Americans believe the economy is heading for the worse.

Consumer’s economic confidence it’s the lowest it’s ever been in years. Source: Adobe Stock.

Things are not looking good for the economy, and the American consumer is well aware of this fact. In a new Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index, the measure was -45. That’s a steep decrease from -39 in the months of April and March. This is the lowest reading since the pandemic started, and most likely the lowest that the economic confidence has been since 2009. 

The GECI – or Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index – measures the perception of Americans’ economic circumstances and their viewpoint for the future. The range goes from +100, which indicates that the current economy is excellent or on its way to getting better, to -100, which says the economy is doing bad and possibly getting worse. 

The newest results come from a poll conducted between May 2 and May 22. At the time, the country was already struggling with elevated inflation, record-high gas prices, and a plummeting stock market. Not to mention the government reports of a decrease in economic growth in the first trimester. Sure the unemployment rate is at a record’s low. However, employers are still scraping to find enough workers to fill the needed spots. That, in turn, is contributing to a significant supply chain issue. 

Americans’ economic confidence has taken a hit

In the survey conducted by Gallup, only 14% of U.S. based adults say that the current economic conditions are “excellent” or “good”. 46% of the surveyed consumers believe the economy is “poor”. 39% rate the economy now as “only fair”. The Economic Confidence Index takes into consideration the “excellent” and “good” responses versus the “poor” answers. In May, they fared at -32. 

Concurrently, 20% of Americans believe that the economy is on its way to improvement, while 77% say things are only getting worse. 

Inflation is still the number one problem for Americans

woman worried prices
American consumers are worried about inflation. Source: Adobe Stock.

Although not as much as during the 2007 – 2009 recession, concerns regarding the economic environment still figure prominently amongst Americans. When asked to name the most significant problem currently facing the country, 18% say inflation without prompting. Other than that, 12% still mention the economy in general terms.

However, inflation and the overall hit in the economic confidence are still 1% below the government. That is because 19% of surveyed Americans named the government as the main overall problem with the country. Other problems cited in the GECI include crime and violence, unifying the country, immigration and race relations/racism.


What’s the economic confidence survey’s bottom line?

Most Americans’ economic confidence took a downturn in May, and it’s the lowest it has been in recent history. In 2021, as inflation began to rise, the majority of other economic factors remained in good shape. Economic growth, unemployment and stock values were all healthy and increasing. 

However, things took a turn for the worse in 2022. During the first quarter, the country’s economic growth declined significantly. If the second quarter continues down the same path, the United States will likely enter what economists call a recession. If that happens, the economic confidence of the country could diminish even further. 

To learn more about what some companies are doing to combat inflation, follow the link below. In it, you’ll see how big value retailers are rising above the current economic conditions.


Dollar Tree and Dollar General profitable earnings

Dollar Tree and Dollar General beat Wall Street's expectations with their first quarter earnings. Learn how both value retailers managed a feat that no other could.

About the author

Aline Barbosa

Aline Barbosa is an editor, writer and learning-enthusiast. Passionate about music, books and human behavior. Curious about the unknown. Believer that learning is a life-long process.

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