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Worst U.S. Business Sector Average Rating Since 2008

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story highlights

  • 25 industries have an average positive rating of 36%, near an all-time low of 34%
  • Grocery industry positive ratings drop 14 points
  • No sector will show significant positive growth beyond 2021

WASHINGTON, DC — The average positive rating of Americans for the 25 business and industrial sectors that drive the US economy has fallen to its lowest point since the Great Recession. The latest average positive reading of 36% marks a 9 percentage point drop since 2020, including a 3 point drop over the past year. These declines are consistent with Americans’ declining confidence in the nation’s institutions and its economy amidst the struggles brought on by high inflation.

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Every year since 2001, Gallup has asked Americans to rate 24 or 25 different industries and industries on a scale of 5 from “very positive” to “very negative.” The current figure of 36% from Gallup’s August 1-23 Work and Education Poll represents the average of “very” and “somewhat” positive ratings across all sectors. 2008’s 34% viewership was his lowest ever, but his highest rating of 49% was his 2017.

Overall rankings are fairly stable

The restaurants (60%) and agriculture/agriculture (57%) industries are the only sectors to receive majority-level positive ratings this year. At the other end of the spectrum are his three companies: oil/gas (62%), pharmaceuticals (58%) and federal government (58%).

Three industries saw their ratings drop significantly this year. Grocery is down 14 points to 40% positive, Real Estate is down 9 points to 34%, and Advertising/PR is down 8 points to 26%, the lowest ever for the industry.

The further negative ratings in the food and real estate industries may reflect sharply rising prices for food and housing, making both less affordable for people. . Rising gas prices are also likely behind the worst oil and gas industry ratings decline since 2012.

While we haven’t seen much change in the past year, several other business sectors, such as computers, movies, pharmaceuticals and publishing, are at record lows, albeit only by 1-2 percentage points. .

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Agriculture and farming have been the top-ranked sectors since 2016, and the restaurant industry has been at or near the top of the list most years since 2001. recent years. Similarly, the grocery industry has historically been one of the top industries for him, but this year he’s just as underrated as he was in 2008.

Meanwhile, the federal government has been the lowest rated industry every year since 2014, with 25% this year, and is inherently tied to the lowest ranking oil and gas industry (22%). Prior to 2014, the oil and gas industry was often rated the worst. That valuation, while currently low, is above the record low of 15% set in 2006 and 2008, when gas prices were also high.

Average ratings for Republicans flat, Democrats down

Last year’s overall decline in positive ratings for the corporate sector was largely due to worsening ratings among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, but this year it’s thanks to Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. Democrats’ latest average approval rating of 39% is down 7 percentage points from last year. That’s a big drop, but above the Democrats’ all-time low of 33% set in 2008.

The decline in positive industry ratings for the Republican Party last year appeared to be related to the Republican Party’s loss of control of the White House, and was the sharpest decline of any past. 31%, about the same as last year and one point lower for Republicans.

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The biggest partisan gaps in positive ratings are industries where Democrats rate better than Republicans. These include the federal government (31 points), the film industry (24 points), the education and publishing industries (19 points each), and the television and radio industries (18 points).


Consumer pessimism toward the US industrial sector has increased over the past few years, after average positive consumer ratings for the US’s major business sectors peaked at 49% in 2017. What happened before the pandemic. The food, real estate, auto, education and oil and gas industries have also fallen precipitously, mainly since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Of these, the grocery, real estate and advertising industries have been hit hardest in the past year. This is likely to reflect the public’s pessimistic mood about inflation. Last year’s decline was largely due to Republicans. But with Republicans’ average industry ratings already at record lows, Democrats had room to fall further this year.

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