Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Confidence in the U.S. economy has improved slightly but it remains well below the record ratings seen before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Gallup survey Thursday.
Gallup's Economic Confidence Index, based on polling earlier this month, said this month's score is minus 10, a slight increase from minus 16 in August.
Following the start of the pandemic, the rating fell as low as minus 33 (in April). In January and February, economic confidence had been at historically high levels.
The index, which assesses economic sentiment and asks Americans if they feel conditions are improving or worsening, hovered around 40 in the first two months of 2020, their highest marks in two decades.
Fourteen percent of respondents said they're satisfied with the way things are going in the United States, a slight increase from 13% in both July and August.
"The economy continues to show signs of bouncing back from the pandemic-induced shutdowns, but the latest positive news on employment and the stock market has done little to improve Americans' economic outlook," Gallup wrote.
"Their awareness or recognition of the recovery may be tempered by the knowledge that more Americans remain out of work than before the pandemic and many industries and businesses face uncertain futures."
The pollster added that the low economic confidence could spell trouble for President Donald Trump's re-election bid.
In 1992, just 22% said they were satisfied with the economy before George H.W. Bush lost the election to Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, and ratings were below 20% ahead of President Jimmy Carter's landslide loss to Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Gallup polled more than 1,000 adults nationwide for the survey, which has a margin of error of 4 points.