After three months unmoved from a high-point of 60, consumer confidence in April dips ever so slightly to an index score of 58, a shift within the margin of error for month-to-month change. Support edged downward by one- to two-point margins across all demographic groups since March. Still, overall confidence remains higher than it was in December.
The public’s expectations about the year ahead continue to be far more positive than negative. This month we have 34 percent of people saying they were better off financially than year ago, 47 percent saying they are the same, and 17 percent saying they are worse off. These numbers are almost identical to what we saw a year ago at this time, suggesting the economy is performing about as well as people have been expecting, which may help explain the stability and net optimism of the index.
Methodology: The most recent SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted April 2-8, 2018 among a national sample of 10,533 adults. Respondents for this survey were selected from the nearly 3 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 1.5 percentage points. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over.
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Confidence is holding steady for the third straight month to start 2018, with our index value remaining at the 60-point high mark it hit in January. Approval for the tax law stabilized after rising each of the past three months. While still sky-high, approval among Republicans ticked downward from 89 percent in February to 86 percent this month, becoming a slight drag on the overall rating. Approval among independents (no change at 43 percent) and Democrats (19 percent to 18 percent) stayed more stable.
The overall two-percentage point shave in approval for the tax bill did not move to the other side; disapproval remained at 46 percent. More people this month expressed uncertainty.
Consumer confidence is holding steady in the second month of 2018, with our index value remaining at the 60-point high mark it hit in January. Support for the tax law has increased another 5%: now a slender majority, 51%, approves of Republican-led tax reform; 46% disapprove. For the first time, nearly as many strongly approve of the law as are stridently against it (23 vs. 25%).
Though few Democrats approve of the tax law, their support has increased notably since January (13% to 19%); support is also up among Republicans (86% to 89%) and it’s virtually unchanged among independents (42% to 43%).
Every month, we asked respondents a battery of five questions relating to their current financial status and future expectations. Those questions are:
Positive responses are assigned a score of 2, middle responses are assigned a score of 1, and negative responses are assigned a score of 0. For each individual, an index score is calculated by summing the values for each question, dividing by 8, and multiplying by 50. This yields a possible index range of 0 to 100.