PRINCETON, N.J., Aug. 23 (UPI) -- U.S. consumers in a Gallup research survey indicated their opinion of banks had improved in the past year although not enough to claim a positive reading.
Gallup calculates public opinion of banks, numerous businesses each year and this year asked consumers for feedback on 25 business sectors, including banking, travel, real estate, the airline industry, automobiles, agriculture, restaurants, lawyers and healthcare.
Seven industries, including banks, showed net gains of more than 10 points from 2012 to 2013, Gallup said.
Banks showed the largest gain with an 18 point jump from year to year. That still wasn't enough to put banks into positive territory, as their score rose from minus 28 to minus 10.
Scores were calculated by finding the difference between positive responses and negative responses when consumers were asked to rate industries on a five-point scale. For banks, the score of minus 10 was the highest score since 2008, shortly before the financial crisis when the score for banks was minus 1.
In prior years, banks had scored above 20 consistently from 2001 to 2007 with their highest score in those years a 39, posted in 2006.
That was then. After 2008, banks scored a minus 23 in 2009 and a minus 28 in 2010. The score improved to minus 17 in 2011 before sliding to minus 28 in 2012.
In this year's so-called Work and Education poll, conducted Aug. 7-11, Gallup found seven industries notched improvements of 10 points or more, including travel with a 14 point improvement to 33 and real estate with a 13 point gain to minus 1.
The airline industry gained 12 points to reach 8 in this year's poll. The automotive industry jumped 11 points to reach a net positive reading of 26. Opinions of agriculture and advertising each gained 10 points with agriculture attaining a mark of 42 and advertising breaking into positive territory with a net positive score of 6.
The highest score for the year was the computer industry with a net score of 54 although that sector dropped more points than any other industry except healthcare, which dropped 13 points to reach minus 13.
The lowest score was posted by the gas and oil industry, which had a net score of minus 31 -- an eight point improvement from 2012.
A close second from the bottom: The federal government. The government's score of minus 29 was also an 8-point gain over 2012, Gallup said.
Gallup said the survey involved 2,013 responses from persons age 18 or older. The results of the survey, Gallup said, include a margin of error of 4 percentage points, with 95 percent certainty.