Morning In America Again

John Sides: “The longest-running measure of American attitudes about the economy is the Index of Consumer Sentiment. Before I had looked at these data, I was sure I’d find that sentiment was only a bit more positive than it was when Obama took office. But in fact, the upward trend — with the exception of the drop during the 2011 debt ceiling crisis — is striking. This upward trend is also reflected in data from Pew and Gallup.”

“As of the first quarter of 2016, even with a slight downturn in the second and third quarters of 2015, consumer sentiment was as positive as it had been since the mid-2000s. It was also as positive as it had been in the mid-1980s during the recovery from the recession of 1981-1982. For example, the value of consumer sentiment at the end of 1983, as Ronald Reagan’s reelection campaign was gearing up, was 91.6. In the first three months of 2015, it was almost exactly the same: 91.5.”

“In other words, consumer sentiment is as positive as it was at the beginning of the election year when Reagan argued that it was ‘Morning in America.'”

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