2008 record      


The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index dipped from lofty levels at the start of November thanks to a lousy October for the Dow Jones and S&P 500 index, despite more good news about jobs and wage growth. Yet support for federal economic policies ticked up to a new 13-year high ahead of Tuesday's election, lifted by the highest approval the IBD/TIPP Poll has seen among Republicans.

The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index registered a healthy 56.4 in October, but eased 1.4 points from October's reading of 57.8, which was just two-tenths of a point off August's 14-year high. Readings above 50 reflect optimism.

The IBD/TIPP Poll reflects 900 responses collected from Oct. 25 to Nov. 3. The interval since the prior month's polling saw the Dow Jones slide 6% from its Oct. 3 record as the stock market suffered its worst month since 2011. That dampened economic optimism among self-described investors from a joyous 61.5 in October to 57.8 in November. Meanwhile, optimism rose among noninvestors to 54.4 from 53.1, buoyed by wage growth hitting a nine-year high of 3.1%. On Oct. 2, Amazon (AMZN) said it would hike its minimum wage to $15 an hour from as low as $10-$11 an hour in some parts of the country. Amazon said its pay hike would apply to 250,000 employees and 100,000 seasonal hires.

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.

The six-month personal financial outlook index was the big mover in November, sliding 4.4 points to 62.3. The October reading was a lifetime high for the IBD/TIPP Poll, which dates back to 2001.

The six-month economic outlook gauge eased one-tenth of a point to 53.2. The subindex hit a 13-year high of 57.5 in February on the heels of tax cuts.

Meanwhile, the measure of confidence in federal economic policies edged up 0.3 point to 53.7, clearing October's 13-year high.

Politics And Race Color Economy Views

Economic optimism rose 1.2 points to a euphoric 81.2 among Republicans, while slipping 2.6 points to a moderate 53.6 among political independents. Pessimism deepened among Democrats, with the index slipping 1.9 points to 36.1.

GOP optimism ebbed about the economic and personal financial outlooks. Yet they grew more ebullient about President Trump's economic policies, with the satisfaction gauge jumping 3.7 points among Republicans to 85.4, a record high. Independents are slightly downbeat about Trump economic policies (48.0), while Democrats are severely depressed (29.5). In the past few weeks, Trump tariffs and trade wars have taken a backseat to his election rallying cry against illegal immigration and the caravan of Central American migrants trudging their way to the U.S. border.

Views of Trumponomics also diverge based on educational attainment. Views are ever-so-slightly negative among college graduates (49.8) and solidly positive among those without a college degree (58+).

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