Better-off Americans are feeling much worse about the economy: Gallup

July 6, 2012

Just a few months ago, how you felt about the economy heavily depended on your income bracket: In April, Gallup calculated that Americans with a yearly household income of more than $90,000 were at -7 on the Economic Confidence Index — not positive, but a far cry from the entire index's low of -66 in October 2008. By contrast, the poorest Americans with incomes under $24,000 a year were at -26 on the index in April.

That confidence gap narrowed last month. Economic confidence fell across the board, but the drop-off was particularly sharp among wealthier Americans. "Upper-income Americans' confidence is now at or near the lowest point seen in any month thus far in 2012, while lower-income Americans' confidence is still better than it was at the start of the year," Gallup notes:


(Gallup)

Why are richer Americans feeling so much worse? Gallup doesn't elaborate, but there are a few likely explanations. Higher-income Americans are more likely to own businesses and own stocks, so the depressing jobs reports and the recent chaos over the Eurocrisis probably had more of an effect. For lower-income Americans, the economy has just been more of the same — that's to say, not very good at all.

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