LOS ANGELES (April 12, 2010) — The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index increased 3.0 points, or 6.6%, in April posting 48.4 vs. 45.4 in March. This month's reading puts the index exactly at its 12-month average of 48.4 and 4.0 points above its reading of 44.4 in December 2007 when the economy entered into the recession, and 2.6 points below its all-time average of 51.0.
Note: Index readings above 50 indicate optimism; below 50 indicate pessimism.
The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index has a good track record of foreshadowing the confidence indicators put out later each month by the University of Michigan and The Conference Board. IBD/TIPP conducted the national poll of 924 adults from April 5 to April 10. The margin of error is +/-3.3 percentage points.
The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index has three key components, all of which increased in April.
• The Six-Month Economic Outlook, a measure of how consumers feel about the economy's prospects in the next six months, gained 5.5 points, or 11.9%, to 51.9. When compared to December 2007, the index shows a gain of 19.8 points.
• The Personal Financial Outlook, a measure of how Americans feel about their own finances in the next six months, rose 2.3 points, or 4.5%, to reach 53.0.
• Confidence in Federal Economic Policies, a proprietary IBD/TIPP measure of views on how government economic policies are working, increased 1.2 points, or 3.1%, to reach 40.4.
"The positive movement in confidence reflects recent improvements in the job market. While further sustaining improvement in jobs can help build confidence, we see sharply rising gasoline prices as imminent threat," said Raghavan Mayur, president of TIPP, a unit of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, IBD's polling partner.
"Reports of a 162,000 jump in jobs for March certainly aided consumers' perception of a modest improvement in the economy," said Terry Jones, associate editor of Investor's Business Daily. "No doubt, the Dow Jones industrial average's flirtation with the 11,000 level for the first time since late 2008 also gave the economy a shot in the arm."
This month, eight of the 21 demographic groups that IBD/TIPP tracks were above 50 on the Economic Optimism Index. The highest index scores were for Black/Hispanic Americans (65.8), Democrats (63.9) and 18 to 24 year olds (55.4).
Seventeen groups improved on the index, while four groups declined.
On the Economic Outlook component, fifteen of the groups IBD/TIPP tracks scored in optimistic territory. Twenty groups advanced on the index, while one declined. The highest index scores were for Democrats (71.2), Black/Hispanic Americans (71.1), and those living in the Northeast (60.0).
On the Personal Financial component, 19 of the groups IBD/TIPP tracks scored in optimistic territory. Sixteen groups advanced on the index while five groups declined.
On the Federal Policies component, only three of the 21 demographic groups tracked were above 50. Thirteen groups advanced on the index, while eight groups declined.
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ABOUT THE IBD/TIPP POLL
The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index is the earliest take on consumer confidence each month and predicts with 80% reliability monthly changes in sentiment in well-known polls by The Conference Board and the University of Michigan. The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index is based on a survey of 900-plus adults chosen at random nationwide. The poll is generally conducted in the first week of the month.
An analysis of Final Certified Results of Election 04 and Election 08 show that TIPP was the most accurate pollster of both campaign seasons. For more information, go to www.tipponline.com
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