PRINCETON, N.J., Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Confidence in the U.S. economy plummeted in the week the federal government shut down due to a budget impasse, a Gallup survey found.
As gridlock in Washington derailed a spending bill needed to keep federal employees at their jobs, the weekly Economic Confidence Index measured by Gallup dropped to minus 34 in the survey taken Oct. 1-3 -- a drop of 14 points from the previous week, and its lowest point since December 2011.
Generally, Gallup noted, the index showed improved confidence in 2009, 2010 and early 2011. But that upswing was set back by the last major financial deadlock in Washington, which built up to August 2011, when lawmakers briefly missed a deadline on raising the debt ceiling, which Republicans refused to approve without a debt-cutting budget plan in place.
This year, the Treasury Department has said the debt ceiling needs to be raised again, this time by Oct. 17, or the nation could default on some of its bills.
In the most recent Gallup Economic Confidence Index, 15 percent of respondents indicated they believed the economy is in good or excellent shape, while 43 percent indicated they believed it was in poor shape.
Responding to the second question in the survey, 67 percent of respondents indicated they believed the economy was getting worse, 25 percent indicated it was getting better.
Gallup said the survey involved 1,542 respondents and the margin of error is 3 percentage points.