The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index improved in June, but the country's mood remains surprisingly circumspect considering lower joblessness, better wages, and an economy whose growth appears to have accelerated past 3%.
The index edged up 0.3 point to 53.9, solidly above the 50 neutral level, as Americans' view of their personal finances strengthened and the jobless rate matched a nearly half-century low.
Self-described investors were bullish on the economy, with their responses equating to a 57.5 index reading, yet the rest of the country remained slightly pessimistic, slipping further into negative territory at 48.6.
Optimism and pessimism also were linked to income levels in June. Americans earning at least $50,000 were optimistic (55.8) and those earning more than $75,000 even more so (57.6). Yet Americans earning less than $50,000 were somewhat pessimistic (48.9 or lower).
The IBD/TIPP Poll reflects 905 responses collected from May 29 to June 5. The Labor Department reported the drop in the jobless rate to 3.8% in May on June 1.
The Economic Optimism Index is a composite of three major subindexes.
The six-month economic outlook gauge dipped one-tenth of a point to 51.2. That's well below the readings that topped 55 in the two months after President Trump signed the tax cuts into law in December.
The six-month personal financial outlook index rose 1.1 points to 62.1, still below January's 14-year high of 64.
Meanwhile, the measure of confidence in federal economic policies slipped two-tenths of a point to 48.3. The gauge has only cracked into optimistic territory in a single month since 2007, during the brief honeymoon after Donald Trump's election.
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