Americans' confidence in the U.S. economy rose to its highest level since 2008 last week, posting a reading of -5, compared with prior week reading of -11, according to the latest data from Gallup. The index posted a previous high reading of -8 in early February, before a sharp increase in gasoline prices sent the index to a year-to-date low of -22 in early March.
A combination of factors contributed to the increase in confidence, according to Gallup. Record-high stock prices, a lower unemployment rate, increasing home prices and moderating gasoline prices all played a part in the boost in confidence.
When assessing current economic conditions, Americans' confidence improved to -12 last week, one of the best ratings since Gallup began this tracking poll five years ago. Looking further ahead, Americans' confidence in the outlook for the U.S. economy rose to a positive reading of 2, the first time ever that the outlook has been in positive numbers.
The good news from Gallup is quite fragile, however, and if any of the positive factors should turn sour, a downturn in confidence could quickly return.
Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Economy, Research