Gallup's Economic Confidence Index is based on two questions. One measures consumers' perceptions of current economic conditions and shows them to be the same in February as in January, with 42% of Americans rating current economic conditions "poor."
The second Index component asks Americans to rate the outlook for the U.S. economy. In February, 38% said economic conditions are "getting better," down from 41% a month earlier. However, this decline follows a January optimism level that tied for the highest since Gallup Daily tracking began in January 2008.
Optimism Declines Across Demographic Groups
More than half of Americans aged 18 to 29 and of Democrats say economic conditions are getting better. This makes them the most optimistic among key demographic groups. At the other end of the spectrum are Republicans, with 27% saying things are getting better, and older Americans, with 33% of those 55 to 64 and 30% of those 65 or older saying this.
The largest drops in optimism in February were among those 65 or older (down five points) and among upper-income Americans and those aged 50 to 64 (down four points each). Only younger Americans saw no drop in optimism between January and February.