James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Americans aren’t eating the dog food

June 28, 2011

A few data points, two from today and one from last week:

–  Consumer confidence fell in June to the lowest point since November 2010 on concerns about the slack labor market and sputtering recovery, according to a Conference Board report released on Tuesday. The Conference Board, a private-sector industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes fell to 58.5 in June from a revised 61.7 in May. Something more like 90 is what you want to see with a healthy economy.

– “Only 37 percent of registered voters approve of [President Obama's]handling of the economy, his lowest rating ever, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll. …  Overall, 45 percent said that they approved of the job the president is doing, while 47 percent disapproved, a range that’s held relatively steady since late 2009.”

– And this from an AP poll:

For the first time this year, less than 50 percent of respondents to an Associated Press-GfK poll say Obama deserves re-election. The new poll shows a virtual split of 48-47 in favor, raising a new hurdle for the president as economic concerns strip away the gloss he briefly gained in May after the death of Osama bin Laden. What’s more, four out of five now believe the economy is in poor shape, with 36 percent calling it “very poor,” a new high in AP-GfK polling.

At the same time, Wall Street and the Federal Reserve continue to downgrade their economic expectations.  As I wrote yesterday:

The economy grew at just a 1.9 percent pace in the first quarter, and many economists now think it might grow just 2.0 percent in the second quarter – or even less. This should be a red flag to Washington. New research from the Federal Reserve finds that that since 1947, when two-quarter annualized real GDP growth falls below 2 percent, recession follows within a year 48 percent of the time.

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