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Small business owner optimism highest since 2008

(Feb. 5, 2015) -- The latest quarterly Small Business Index survey was conducted Jan. 5 to 9. At +71 now, the overall Small Business Index score has increased significantly, from +58 in November and +49 in July 2014. While still below pre-recession levels, the index is the highest it has been since January 2008's +83. Read More »

The big lie: 5.6% unemployment

(Jan. 4, 2016) -- "Right now, we're hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is "down" to 5.6 percent," Clifton explained. "The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market." Read More »

American job creation near seven-year high

(Feb. 4, 2015) -- U.S. workers' perceptions of hiring at their places of employment are the most positive Gallup has recorded in any January since Gallup began tracking this in 2008. But the increase since last January came mostly in the first half of 2014. The index has since stalled, suggesting that the future of the jobs situation in the U.S. remains uncertain. Read More »

After holidays, consumer spending falls

(Feb. 2, 2015) -- Spending usually drops after the holiday season, falling an average of $15 each January since 2008, Gallup reported. Despite this year's $17 drop, $81 is one of the highest self-reported averages in any January since 2008. Read More »

One-third of oldest baby boomers are still working

(Jan. 27, 2015) -- Prior research indicates that from a long-term perspective, the average retirement age has been increasing, but according to these new findings, in the short term, boomers appear to be leaving the workforce in predictable numbers, Gallup noted. Read More »

Microbusiness owners finish 2014 feeling strong

(Jan. 22, 2015) -- Even as microbusiness owners are feeling more confident, those with strong growth ambitions are more optimistic about business growth than other owners and are more likely to be hiring, but they also have more concerns and higher dissatisfaction with their current circumstances, Gallup noted. Read More »

Economic Confidence Index still positive, but barely

(Jan. 20, 2015) -- Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index averaged +2 for the week ending Jan. 18, its fourth consecutive positive score. However, the latest score is a two-point dip from the previous week, and perilously near the negative territory it was in for the past seven years. Read More »

Americans’ personal financial assessments up sharply

(Jan. 16, 2015) -- The current personal financial situation ratings are now at or near the high levels Gallup measured in the past four decades when the U.S. economy was strong, Gallup noted. The latest results mark a dramatic turnaround from the recent recession and post-recession years. Read More »

Holiday weekends are still America’s happiest days

(Jan. 14, 2015) -- Despite the major economic, political and other changes that have taken place since 2008, Americans' personal levels of happiness have stayed remarkably constant over that period. Within the year 2014, Americans were most happy on holidays and on weekends, and were least happy at the beginning of the workweek. Read More »

U.S. standard of living highest in seven years

(Jan. 9, 2015) -- While Americans are becoming more satisfied with their current standard of living, they are also becoming more optimistic about its future. Sixty-one percent of Americans now say their standard of living is "getting better" -- a new high, and nearly twice the level it was at its low of 33 percent in October 2008. Read More »

Consumer spending strong, unchanged in December

(Jan. 5, 2015) -- Because of holiday shopping, December spending has usually been the highest of any month in Gallup's seven-year history of asking this question. That was not the case in 2014, given that December's $98 average matched the $98 from May, and was barely higher than November's average. Read More »

U.S. standard of living improves in 2014

(Dec. 12, 2014) -- Meanwhile, many still feel uneasy about their personal financial situation -- half of U.S. adults say they would be able to make an emergency purchase, while less than half (47 percent) say they are feeling pretty good about the amount of money they have to spend, Gallup reported. Read More »

Small business optimism highest since 2008

(Dec. 4, 2014) -- Currently, 71 percent of business owners expect their companies' financial situation in the next 12 months to be "very good" or "somewhat good," up from 50 percent just two years ago, and the highest since 2007, Gallup noted. Read More »

Consumer spending inches up in November

(Dec. 1, 2014) -- In the United States, daily self-reports of spending averaged $95 in November, up from $89 in October. This is also up slightly from the $91 found in November 2013, and remains well above the lower averages found in 2009 through 2012, Gallup reported today. Read More »