Is Trumponomics having a second honeymoon? The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index surged to the 2nd-highest level since 2004 as the jobless rate matched a nearly 50-year low, the Nasdaq briefly scaled new heights and President Donald Trump pushed contentious immigration and trade policies.
The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index rose 2.5 points to 56.4 in July, just off February's 13-year high of 56.7. Readings above the neutral 50 level reflect optimism.
It's hard to ignore the role of Trumponomics. In fact, Americans' view of federal government economic policies, almost always negative since the financial crisis, vaulted into solidly optimistic territory for the first time since late 2006. Midwesterners haven't felt so good about federal policies since early 2002, and rural voters even longer than that.
Economic Optimism Index Components
The Economic Optimism Index is a composite of three major subindexes. They track views of near-term economic prospects, the outlook for personal finances, and views of how well government economic policies are working. All three rose in July, but the federal policies index led the surge.
The six-month economic outlook gauge climbed 2.2 points to 53.4. That's a solid reading but still well below February's 57.5, two months after President Trump signed the tax cuts into law.
The six-month personal financial outlook index gained seven-tenths of a point to 62.8, still below January's 14-year high of 64.
Meanwhile, the measure of confidence in federal economic policies jumped 4.6 points to 52.9. The gauge hit 58.9 in the Midwest and 54.1 in the South. It remained in slightly pessimistic territory in the more-liberal West and Northeast. In rural areas, the federal policy gauge soared to 63.5 vs. 53.0 in suburban areas and 41.6 in urban areas.
Despite a volatile stock market, the S&P 500 index rose in June, its fourth straight monthly gain. The S&P 500 index reversed lower on Tuesday.
The IBD/TIPP Poll reflects 900 responses collected from June 21-29.
The period included the news from Harley-Davidson (HOG) on June 25 that the motorcycle maker would move some production offshore to dodge the European Union's 25% tariff in retaliation for Trump tariffs on steel and aluminum. Trump accused the company of waving the "white flag" in surrender and on being too focused on its bottom line.
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