Citigroup’s Economic Surprise Index has hit a six-year low, falling to levels not seen since August 2011. The widely-followed index is seen as an indicator of how data is matching up to expectations.
The last time the index hit this low of a level, the U.S. economy was on the brink of a debt default and there were fears of a double-dip recession.
President Donald Trump’s victory in November sparked hopes that the U.S. GDP would jump above 3%. Trump’s agenda also included fewer regulations, lower taxes and more spending on infrastructure. These hopes triggered a jump in several sentiment indicators.
Thus far, the hard data hasn’t matched up to these expectations. Job creation, retail sale and productivity reports have failed to meet expectations.
The index’s reading contradicts a recent survey, which shows that Americans have high expectations for the economy.
The survey showed that almost a third of 800 adults feel “optimistic” about the health and future of the economy.
Among the survey participants, 38% said the economy will likely get better over the next year, while 28% said the economy will likely stay the same.
As far as economic conditions are concerned, 38% said current conditions are “good” or “excellent,” while 16% described the economy as “poor.”
While Americans are upbeat about the economy, they have a different view of the president, with only 37% approving of his job so far. On the topic of the economy specifically, just 41% approve of his job, while 44% disapprove.
Among the individuals who believe the economy will get better under Trump, 65% think the outcome will be a direct result of Trump’s economic policies. Another 10% believe that the gains will come from measures implemented by the Obama administration, while 22% believe that improvements will come as part of the normal business cycle.