Confidence in the economy declined slightly to plus 4 in September, down from August's plus 6. While the ECI climbed past the plus 10 mark in January, September's score of plus 4 represents a continuation of economic attitudes that have held since May, apart from a brief increase in early August after the Dow hit 22,000.
Even if overall confidence in the economy has stagnated recently, confidence remains notably higher compared with any month between 2008 and November 2016. In particular, Americans' ratings of current economic conditions have remained at or near post-recession highs virtually all year, including last month. Moreover, the current conditions component has averaged plus 10 or higher every month this year, a level it had never hit in the nine years prior. The component was either positive or non-negative in only a handful of months during that period.
The current conditions component measured plus 13 in September, the result of 34 percent describing the economy as "excellent" or "good" minus the 21 percent describing the economy as "poor." September's current conditions score essentially ties the plus 14 observed in August -- the highest monthly reading in the 2008-2017 Gallup Daily tracking trend.
However, economic expectations dimmed slightly in September. Over the course of the month, half of Americans said economic conditions were "getting worse," while 44 percent said conditions were "getting better," resulting in an economic outlook score of minus 6. This is down four points from August's minus 2 outlook score.
While economic confidence faltered somewhat in September, it essentially reverted to the level seen consistently since May.