2008 record      


The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index dropped by 1.9 points, or 3.8%, in March posting 47.5 vs. 49.4 in February. The index is 4.7 points above its 12-month average of 42.8 and 3.1 points above its reading of 44.4 in December 2007 when the economy entered into the recession, and 2.4 points below its all-time average of 49.9.

{jb_greenbox}Note: Index readings above 50 indicate optimism; below 50 indicate pessimism.{/jb_greenbox}

The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index has a good track record of foreshadowing the confidence indicators put out later each month by the University of Michigan and The Conference Board.  IBD/TIPP conducted the national poll of 875 adults from March 4 to March 11. The margin of error is +/-3.4 percentage points.

The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index has three key components, all of which decreased in March.

  • The Six-Month Economic Outlook, a measure of how consumers feel about the economy’s prospects in the next six months, decreased 1.4 points, or 2.8%, to 48.8.  The sub-index was 32.1 when the economy entered the last recession in December 2007.
  • The Personal Financial Outlook, a measure of how Americans feel about their own finances in the next six months, lost 3.2 points, or 5.6%, to reach 54.2.
  • Confidence in Federal Economic Policies, a proprietary IBD/TIPP measure of views on how government economic policies are working declined 1.1 points, or 2.7%, to reach 39.4.

"After six consecutive months of improvement, consumer confidence retreated due to concerns about gasoline prices and persisting high unemployment,” said Raghavan Mayur, president of TIPP, a unit of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, IBD's polling partner “The recent job report does not adequately reflect the dark side of the job situation in the country.  According to our survey, 23% of households have at least one member of household unemployed looking for employment now which translates to approximately 30 million Americans."

“The surge in gasoline prices has cut sharply into Americans’ buying power,” said Terry Jones, associate editor for Investor’s Business Daily. “Further rises in energy prices can only hurt average Americans’ confidence in their own economic futures.”

The Breakdown

This month, five of the 21 demographic groups that IBD/TIPP tracks were above 50 on the Economic Optimism Index. Five groups increased on the index.

On the Economic Outlook component, seven of the 21 groups that IBD/TIPP tracks scored in optimistic territory.   Six groups improved in March.

On the Personal Financial component, nineteen of the groups IBD/TIPP tracks scored in optimistic territory. Five groups improved on the component and sixteen declined.

On the Federal Policies component, two of the 21 demographic groups tracked were above 50.  Eight groups advanced on the component and thirteen declined.
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The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index is the earliest take on consumer confidence each month and predicts with 80% 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 900-plus adults chosen at random nationwide. The poll is generally conducted in the first week of the month.

For more information, go to www.tipponline.com. To license the IBD/TIPP Poll, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Investor's Business Daily is a leading financial news and research organization recognized for proprietary stock screens, comparative performance ratings and a record of identifying stock leaders as they emerge.  IBD’s companion website, Investors.com, offers stock tools and research for investors of every level.  These include the IBD University learning center, IBD TV market videos and audio interviews, intraday reports on market action and the IBD Stock Checkup®.  IBD hosts popular investment workshops and provides Home Study programs based on top-performing growth strategy, The CAN SLIM® Investing System.  The newspaper was founded April 9, 1984 by William J. O’Neil, who originated the investing system that has outperformed major market indexes* for decades.

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IBD/TIPP Poll © 2012 Investor’s Business Daily Inc. and Technometrica Inc.

© 2012 Investor's Business Daily, Inc.  All rights reserved. Investor's Business Daily, IBD, and CAN SLIM and their corresponding logos are registered trademarks of Investor’s Business Daily, Inc.

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