Gallup: Can’t Get No Satisfaction


August 2009 was the high point of American’s satisfaction with the economy during Barack Obama’s tenure. Interestingly, this meshes with the data on the ground. In a recent interview, Simoleon Sense quoted James Montier as saying that his favourite real-time economic indicator is the ADS Business Conditions Index charted below (hat tip Philly Fed via the Pragmatic Capitalist).




What is this telling us?  I’m not sure yet. The pink shading in the Philly Fed chart indicates recession. So, implicitly the Philly Fed is saying recession ended in August 2009, right about the ABS Business Conditions Index was peaking for the first time (a subsequent peak came in December 2010).  This view that the recession ended in August is one I share (see my comments in Readers of this blog expect the recession to last redux and Is the recession dating committee preparing for a double dip?). Perhaps, this indicates an economy softening toward a potential double dip. I don’t know. All I know is that the ABS data are worrying.

As for the Gallup data, these paragraphs stand out for me.

Gallup has tracked Americans’ satisfaction with national conditions since 1979. Since that time, there have been three other periods of sub-20% satisfaction ratings, all during difficult economic times for the United States. These include 1979 to 1981, when the nation dealt first with an energy crisis during the latter part of the Carter presidency and high unemployment in the early part of the Reagan presidency; 1992, as the U.S. was coming out of a recession; and 2008 to early 2009, during the economic downturn and the financial crisis, including a record-low 7% reading in October 2008.

Current satisfaction levels among all party groups are low, including 11% among Republicans, 17% among independents, and 29% among Democrats.

The recent decline in satisfaction has come almost exclusively among Democrats.

Translation? The Democratic Party meltdown of 2010


U.S. Satisfaction Drops Below 20% – Gallup

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