Americans have more than a few reasons to feel glum about the economic recovery, from disappointing jobs figures to stagnant manufacturing. But for some reason, the first week of September coincided with an 11-point surge in Gallup’s economic confidence index. Gallup creates the index by asking around 3,500 adults of all political stripes two questions: basically, how do you think the economy’s doing? And is it getting better or worse? Negative numbers mean what you’d expect—and while most Americans are still pessimistic, spirits have been lifting in recent days. Though the index dropped a point last week, on Sept. 16, the measure was still at its highest point since May.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, how you feel about the economy is closely tied to how you plan to vote. Democrats register 75 points higher than Republicans, and 43 points higher than Independents. The first week of September, which coincided with a decidedly feel-good Democratic National Convention and a post-party Obama bounce, lifted Democrats’ and independents’ spirits. In fact, even Republicans are 5 points more confident now than they were at the beginning of the month.