Poll: Republicans, independents lose confidence in economy

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

Both Republicans and independents lost confidence in the economy last month, according to Gallup.

Economic confidence among Republicans fell from -54 in July to -57 in August, and confidence fell from -30 to -33 among independents.

In contrast, economic confidence among Democrats has increased slightly from 7 in July to 9 in August after stagnating the two previous months. In May of this year, economic confidence among Democrats fell from 13 to 7.

Gallup notes, “The relatively high confidence among Democrats reflects the historical pattern: those who identify with the president’s party are more upbeat in their economic attitudes than either independents or those who identify with the opposing party.”

Economic confidence fell again in August, sliding 10 points from May, the high of this year. Confidence in the economy sank one point from -26 in July to -27 in August, which puts last month roughly equal to where economic confidence was in August 2009, at -25.

Public confidence in the economy has dropped every month since May, the highest level of economic confidence since January 2008 and the last month the federal government reported any improvement in the jobless rate.

At the time it was reported that the unemployment rate shrank from 8.2 percent in March to 8.1 percent in April. However, this drop was largely because more people left the workforce.

“Since then, the government’s unemployment reports have been disappointing, or mixed at best. The decline in confidence seen since May slowed in August, suggesting Americans may be growing accustomed to stagnant job growth,” the poll notes.

“Gallup’s own unemployment data suggest the next Bureau of Labor Statistics report, due out Friday, will offer more of the same — either no change or an increase in the jobless rate.”

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