Americans’ stress over their finances posted its steepest decline in more than four years in May.
The economic shutdown triggered by the coronavirus outbreak has taken a heavy toll on the U.S. labor market, as a record 20.5 million jobs were lost in April.
Americans’ views on the economy brightened somewhat in May, following the largest decline in more than six years last month, as states relax coronavirus-induced lockdowns, and the federal government’s historic stimulus package provides relief to U.S. households.
Consumer sentiment rebounded slightly in May from a more than three-year low set the previous month, as states begin easing lockdown measures and government stimulus checks provide much-needed financial relief to Americans amid the coronavirus crisis.
President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee former Vice President Joe Biden are tied in the 2020 presidential race, as the president’s job approval rating holds steady amid the coronavirus crisis.
Americans are pessimistic about a swift end to coronavirus lockdowns, even as a growing number of states begin easing social distancing restrictions to allow more businesses to reopen, according to the national Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP Poll for May. Just 15 percent of Americans believed that their states would be ready to reopen by May 1, a day which saw more than a dozen states relaxing lockdown measures aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. Meanwhile, approximately one-third (34 percent) think that their states should reopen by May 15. Close to one-half (49 percent) of Americans feel that states should wait until June 1 or beyond to reopen. Less than one in five (16 percent) survey respondents were not sure. Americans’ skepticism over lifting state shutdowns reflects an uneasiness about returning to a number of public activities once the country reopens, our survey suggests. A slight majority (54 percent) of Americans would feel comfortable going to the grocery store, followed by an in-person visit to the doctor (44 percent), attending family gatherings (40 percent), dining out at a restaurant (35 percent), going to the barbershop or salon (33 percent), and returning to their workplace (30 percent). When it comes to the response to the coronavirus crisis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) receives the highest favorability rating, at 62 percent, followed by state governments (59 percent), local governments (57 percent), the World Health Organization (49 percent), the White House Coronavirus Task Force (46 percent), and Congress (36 percent). President Donald Trump continues to receive some credit for his response to the crisis, with 41 percent approving and 39 percent disapproving of his handling of the coronavirus situation.
U.S. consumer confidence fell into pessimistic territory for the first time in more than three years this month, as social distancing measures aimed at controlling the spread of the coronavirus have shuttered much of the economy, triggering massive job losses and a record stock market sell-off, according to the April reading of the Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP Economic Optimism Index, a leading indicator for the health of consumer spending and the economy in the U.S. The index declined by 6.1 points, or 11.3 percent, in April, to a score of 47.8, its first pessimistic reading since September 2016. This marks the largest monthly drop in the index since October 2013, when the federal government entered a 16-day shutdown that cost the economy $24 billion and put approximately 800,000 federal workers temporarily out of work. This month’s decline in the headline indicator was driven by an erosion in Americans’ short-term outlook for the overall economy and their personal finances. The Six-Month Economic Outlook subindex, a measure of how Americans feel about economic conditions in the next six months, plunged 9.8 points, or 20.5 percent, this month, to a reading of 38.0, the lowest since July 2016. The Personal Financial Outlook component, which gauges Americans’ views on their finances in the next six months, also weakened significantly, plummeting 11 points, or 18 percent, to a score of 50.2, its lowest reading since October 2013. Meanwhile, the Confidence in Federal Economic Policies subindex, which measures public perceptions of the federal government’s fiscal policies, gained 2.5 points, or 4.8 percent, in April, to a reading of 55.1, marking 14 consecutive months in optimistic territory.
President Donald Trump’s approval rating improved in April as the coronavirus crisis gripped the country, according to the national Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP Poll. This month, 45 percent of Americans say that they approve of Trump’s job performance, up from 41 percent in March. Meanwhile, the share of Americans who disapprove of the president declined by nine points, from 54 percent to 45 percent. The poll suggests that President Trump is getting a boost from his response to the coronavirus outbreak. More than two in five (43 percent) U.S. households give Trump an “A” or “B” grade for his handling of the coronavirus situation, while 41 percent assign a rating of “D” or “F.” The president also continues to receive relatively high marks on the economy. Close to half of Americans (48 percent) approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, assigning a grade of “A” or “B,” a one-point gain from March. When it comes to the 2020 presidential election, former Vice President Joe Biden remains ahead of Trump, 47 percent to 41 percent. In March, Biden led Trump by a margin of 49 percent to 46 percent.
Americans are being hit hard by the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, as close to two in five (38 percent) U.S. adults report having lost their jobs or work hours due to the crisis, according to the IBD/TIPP Poll for April. Overall, 15 percent of Americans have lost their jobs, while nearly one-quarter (23 percent) have seen their work hours reduced as a result of the coronavirus. The crisis is also creating widespread financial worries among Americans. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of U.S. adults are very or somewhat concerned about keeping up with their living expenses amid the outbreak. Meanwhile, 64 percent of Americans are concerned that the crisis will have a negative impact on their retirement savings. The survey also finds that an overwhelming majority (76 percent) of Americans perceive the coronavirus outbreak as a serious threat. Americans also show widespread support for government measures aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus. Close to 9 in 10 back the closures of nonessential businesses (88 percent) and the limits placed on the movements of Americans, such as “stay-at-home” and social distancing measures (87 percent).
Consumer confidence retreated from a 16-year high reached last month, posting its largest decline in more than six years, amid growing concerns over the potential economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the latest reading of the Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP Economic Optimism Index, a leading indicator for the health of consumer spending and the economy in the U.S. The index fell by 5.9 points, or 9.9 percent, in March, to a reading of 53.9, the biggest monthly drop since October 2013. However, consumer confidence remains upbeat, as March marks the 42nd consecutive month in which the index has posted a reading in optimistic territory (above 50). Thus, we anticipate that consumers will continue to spend at a healthy pace in the months ahead, despite a slight pullback. This month’s drop in the headline index was precipitated by declines in all three of its components. The Six-Month Economic Outlook component plunged 9.2 points, or 16.1 percent, this month to a score of 47.8, entering pessimistic territory for the first time since November 2019. Meanwhile, the Personal Financial Outlook subindex decreased by 3.2 points, or 5 percent, to a still-robust reading of 61.2. Finally, after hitting its highest level in almost 18 years last month, the Confidence in Federal Economic Policies component measure fell by 5.3 points, or 9.2 percent, in March to 52.6, the largest decline since April 2017.