Peter G. Peterson Foundation Second Monthly "Fiscal Confidence Index" Finds Pessimism about Fiscal Progress as Leaders Plan Next Steps on Debt
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2013
January 2013 Fiscal Confidence Index, Modeled after the Consumer Confidence Index, is 40 (100 is Neutral), Indicating Strongly Negative Public Sentiment — Down from 52 in DecemberOnly 1% of Respondents Say Fiscal Cliff Deal Fixed the Long-Term Debt Problem91% of Americans Say More Action is Needed87% of Respondents Want Fiscal Issues to be a Major Topic in State of the Union Address
NEW YORK — Americans are increasingly concerned about the nation's long-term debt and pessimistic about Washington's ability to make progress in addressing the debt, according to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation's latest Fiscal Confidence Index, a monthly measure of public attitudes about the nation's long-term debt and the efforts elected leaders are making to address the debt.
The January 2013 Fiscal Confidence Index, modeled after the Consumer Confidence Index, is 40 (100 is neutral), indicating strongly negative public sentiment about America’s fiscal situation. Sentiment has declined since December, when the Fiscal Confidence Index was 52.
The Fiscal Confidence Index measures public opinion about the national debt by asking six questions in three key areas:
The survey results from these three areas are weighted equally and averaged to produce the Fiscal Confidence Index value. The Fiscal Confidence Index, like the Consumer Confidence Index, is indexed on a scale of 0 to 200, with a neutral midpoint of 100. A reading above 100 indicates positive sentiment. A reading below 100 indicates negative sentiment.
"The January Fiscal Confidence Index makes clear that Americans remain very concerned about our nation's fiscal path,” said Michael A. Peterson, President of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. "The Fiscal Confidence Index shows that Americans are under no illusion that our debt problems are behind us. The fiscal cliff deal did not significantly improve our long-term fiscal outlook, and Americans know that much more must be done to address our fiscal challenges. The increasing pessimism and uncertainty reflected in this survey are not good for the economic recovery. Our economy desperately needs a boost of confidence, and a comprehensive fiscal plan that shows America is on a stable path would do just that."
Fiscal Confidence Index Key Data Points:
Fiscal Issues Should Feature Prominently in State of the Union
Following the New Year's agreement to avert the fiscal cliff, and as the President and a new Congress prepare for upcoming budget deadlines, the Peterson Foundation also polled Americans on their views about the fiscal cliff agreement and their desire for the President to make fiscal issues a priority in his upcoming State of the Union address.
The Peter G. Peterson Foundation commissioned the poll by the Global Strategy Group to survey public opinion on the national debt. The nationwide poll included 1,007 U.S. registered voters, surveyed by telephone between January 14 and January 17, 2013. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%. The poll examined voters’ opinions on the national debt, political leadership, and America’s fiscal and economic health.
Detailed poll results can be found online at: www.pgpf.org/FiscalConfidenceIndex
About the Peter G. Peterson Foundation The Peter G. Peterson Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan organization established by Pete Peterson — businessman, philanthropist, and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce. The Foundation is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the nature and urgency of key long-term fiscal challenges threatening America's future and to accelerating action on them. To address these challenges successfully, we work to bring Americans together to find and implement sensible, long-term solutions that transcend age, party lines and ideological divides in order to achieve real results. To learn more, please visit www.PGPF.org.
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