The President and the stock market

April 12, 2018, 5:00 PM GMT+0

Most Americans think President Trump is at least partly responsible for the current performance of the stock market

Should the President get credit – or blame – for the ups and downs of the stock market? According to the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, maybe he should. Stocks remain a good rather than a bad investment to many, but Americans are dubious that the stock market explains the health of the American economy particularly well.

Of course, Donald Trump has taken credit when the stock market rises. Americans give him some credit for where it is now (which is lower than it was for much of last year). However, that also means they give him some of the blame when the market drops. Democrats are only somewhat less likely than Republicans to hold the President responsible for where the market is today.

At the start of the Trump Administration, Americans were more likely to be optimistic than pessimistic about the future of the stock market. Many more said it would be higher, not lower in the next year. In February 2017, 32% said the market would rise in the next 12 months, while only 19% said it would decline. Now opinions are more divided. Only 21% expect the market to be higher 12 months from now than it is today, while 24% say it will be lower. Republicans are more optimistic: 43% now say the market will rise, though that is 18 points lower than the 61% recorded among Republicans at the start of the Trump Presidency.

A majority believes the stock market is at best only a fair measure of the state of the economy. And only 12% say it matters a lot to their own personal finances. Is it a good investment now? More say yes than no, but Republicans are much more pro-stocks than Democrats are.

The President’s approval rating on the economy continues to outpace his overall approval rating, though not by much. 41% approve of how he is handling the economy, and 43% disapprove. This week, nearly half disapprove of how he is handling his job overall, while 40% approve.

Read more toplines and tables results here

Photo: Getty

Explore more data & articles