Latest IBD/TIPP Poll Shows Dip in Economic Optimism
The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index, a leading national poll on consumer confidence, ended its streak of four consecutive months with improved optimism. The May index showed a 3.5% decline, with a dip in all three of its components. The index overall remained in positive territory, however, with a reading of 54.4, down from 56.4 in April. For the IBD/TIPP indexes, a reading above 50.0 signals optimism and below 50.0 indicates pessimism. The Economic Optimism Index has been in positive territory since January 2021.
The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index has established a strong track record of foreshadowing the confidence indicators issued later each month by the University of Michigan and The Conference Board.
For the May index, IBD/TIPP surveyed 1,300 adults from April 28 to April 30. The poll was conducted online using TechnoMetrica's network of online panels to provide the sample. IBD/TIPP also surveyed respondents on key political issues for the separate Presidential Leadership Index and National Outlook Index as well as the Financial Related Stress Index.
This month, the Presidential Leadership Index declined again, falling another 2.2%, after last month's 2.4% slide and March's 2.2% dip. President Biden's current 58.9 reading remains higher than any month of the Trump presidency, however. In addition, all of the index components stayed in positive territory for the fourth consecutive month.
The National Outlook Index was down 3.8% in May, moving from April's 55.0 to 52.9 this month. All six components reflected declines, with the Standing in the World component falling the most at 6.8%. Nevertheless, every component except Morals & Ethics (42.8) remained in positive territory (Morals & Ethics was last in positive territory in April 2003).
The Financial Related Stress index also ticked back up. The index rose by 1.6%, from 56.8 to 57.7. A reading over 50.0 equals more financial stress while a reading below 50.0 on this index would indicate consumers feel less stress. This index was last below 50.0 in February 2020 (48.1).
"Even with another month's worth of vaccinations and more facets of the economy opening up, consumers remain a bit wary," said Ed Carson, IBD's news editor. "The respective indexes continue to perform well overall, but slight declines across the board indicate that we have not yet settled into a new normal."
The flagship IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index has three key components. This month, all three declined.
Economic Optimism Index Breakdown
This month, 17 of 21 demographic groups - such as age, income, race and party preference - that IBD/TIPP tracks were above 50.0, in positive territory, on the Economic Optimism Index. That's unchanged vs. April and up from 16 in March, 11 in February, eight in January, nine in December and eight in November. Seven groups rose this month vs. 14 in April, 19 in March, 13 in February, 12 in January, nine in December and just three in November.
For the Six-Month Economic Outlook component, 13 of 21 groups that IBD/TIPP tracks scored in optimistic territory vs. 15 in April, 12 in March, nine in February, seven in January and December and eight in November. Optimism over the economy's six-month outlook rose among nine groups, vs. 15 in April, 18 in March, 15 in February, 14 in January, 10 in December and four in November.
For the Personal Financial component, 13 groups IBD/TIPP tracks were in optimistic territory vs. 19 in April, 17 in March and February, 19 in January and December and 18 in November. Nine groups rose in May and April vs. 15 in March, 10 in February, 12 in January, 13 in December and three in November.
For the Federal Policies component, 13 of the 21 demographic groups tracked were above 50.0, vs. 16 in April, 14 in March, nine in February, seven in January and five in December and November. Four groups rose vs. 12 in April, 20 in March, 16 in February and 13 in January.
ABOUT THE IBD©/TIPP POLL
The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index is the earliest take on consumer confidence each month and predicts with good reliability monthly changes in sentiment in well-known polls by The Conference Board and the University of Michigan. The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index is based on a survey of 1,200 adults conducted using a network of online panels. The national poll is generally conducted in the first week of the month.
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