UBS/Gallup Poll: Investor Optimism Increases

Nov 27 2006 | 10:38am ET

Investor optimism in the U.S. has surged 14 points to reach its highest level since January, according to the November UBS/Gallup Index of Investor Optimism.

The Index has risen 40 points over the past three months and currently stands at 93. In August, optimism hit a low for the year at 53. The Index is conducted monthly and had a baseline score of 124 when it was established in October 1996.

Investor concerns about high energy prices continued to decline in November as the percentage of investors saying they believe energy prices are hurting the investment climate “a lot” fell to 54% – the lowest level since measurement began in March 2004. As recently as August, 78% of investors said energy prices were hurting the U.S. economy “a lot.” Currently, approximately the same percentage of investors considers the federal budget deficit (53%) and international tensions (52%) as harmful to the investment climate as energy prices.
 
With the November increase in the Index came increases in both the Personal and Economic Dimensions of the Index. The Personal Dimension, which measures people’s optimism about their own portfolios over the next 12 months, increased six points to 68 in November and is up 14 points since August. The Economic Dimension, which measures people’s optimism about the economy over the next 12 months, increased eight points in November to reach 25 – its highest level since June 2004. Investors as a whole have gone from being essentially neutral on the economy just three months ago to being somewhat optimistic about economic outlook over the next 12 months.
 
“The recent stabilization in gasoline prices has clearly impacted investors’ outlook on the economy as more money has been kept in investors’ pockets. The continued stock market rally is also fueling investor optimism, offsetting worries about other sectors, especially the housing market,” said Mike Ryan, Head of UBS Wealth Management Research Americas.
 
The sampling included 800 investors randomly selected from across the country.


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