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Confidence index slips off a five-year high

PRINCETON, N.J., May 14 (UPI) — Consumer confidence in the U.S. economy slipped off a five-year high in the latest weekly survey, researchers at Gallup said Tuesday.

For the week, the confidence index dropped to minus 16 from minus 11, Gallup said. That is the net figure based on 35 percent of respondents in a survey indicating they believed the economy was doing poorly versus 19 percent who indicated they believed the economy to be in good or excellent shape.

Gallup also measures which direction respondents believe the economy is headed – better or worse.

In the latest weekly polls, 44 percent of respondents indicated they believed the economy was improving while 50 percent indicated that the economy was getting worse, which gives the expectations index a net result of minus six, slightly worse than the previous week, when net expectations were at minus four.

“Although the Gallup Economic Confidence Index fell slightly last week, Americans’ confidence in the economy remains stronger this year than it has been over the last several years,” Gallup said, noting respondents were likely influenced by higher stock values, increased home values, and lower gas prices.

“Still, the index score has quickly retreated both times it reached the five-yearly weekly high this year, and has never been in positive territory since Gallup began daily tracking of economic confidence in 2008,” Gallup said.

The results for the survey were based on a random sample of 3,553 telephone interviews conducted May 6-12, 2013, Gallup said. The results include a margin of error of plus and minus 2 percentage points and can be said with 95 percent certainty, Gallup said.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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