Expectations for future standard of living drops more than current satisfaction
by Lydia Saad
PRINCETON, NJ — In yet another sign that partisan wrangling over the federal budget is rattling the American consumer, Gallup’s Standard of Living Index has tumbled eight points in the past month to 31, its lowest reading since January.
The index is a summary of whether Americans are satisfied with their current standard of living and perceive it as getting better or worse. Although the index has a theoretical maximum of 100 (and a theoretical minimum of -100), the highest it has been since tracking began in 2008 is 45, attained in May 2013.
The recent decline echoes sentiments seen in Americans’ broader attitudes about the U.S. economy, although the magnitude in the decline in the Standard of Living Index is not as great. Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index faltered during the run-up to the government shutdown in late September, and has fallen further in October since the shutdown began, for a total decline of 24 points since mid-September.