Americans’ confidence in the U.S. economy plummeted by 16 points in October, the sharpest monthly drop since Gallup started to track the subject daily in 2008 and reflective of a federal government shutdown and fight over the nation’s debt limit in Washington.
The economy’s minus 35 rating for the month is the lowest it’s been since it hit minus 38 in December 2011, when it was on its way up from the 2011 federal debt crisis and resulting downgrade in the nation’s credit rating. It is also significantly down from May, when a minus 7 rating offered the year’s high point.
Gallup’s economic confidence index has ebbed and flowed with current conditions and expectations for the future, based on political shifts and notable events such as the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008.
The end of the government shutdown lifted economic confidence to minus 29 for the week ending Nov. 3, but the rating has not recovered to mid-September levels.