Americans' confidence in economy has jumped since government shutdown

WASHINGTON — Americans' confidence in the economy has jumped since the end of the partial federal government shutdown in October, another positive sign for the recovery as the new year begins, according to data released Tuesday by Gallup.

The public opinion firm's economic confidence index rose to minus-19 in December from minus-25 in November.


The monthly average, based on Gallup's daily tracking interviews, had plunged to minus-35 in October as a partisan standoff in Washington caused many federal agencies to shut down for 16 days.

The December index was back to its September level, Gallup said.

The post-shutdown improvement matched increases in consumer confidence measures from the Conference Board and the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters.

Still, the Gallup index remained below zero, indicating consumers still were more negative than positive about the economy.

Upper-income Americans were more optimistic in December than middle- and lower-income workers, Gallup said.

The monthly average hit a low of minus-60 in October 2008 when the financial crisis was at its worst. The best reading since then has been minus-7 in May 2013.