NATIONAL ECONOMY -- Forty-three percent of Americans rate the economy as excellent or good; it was 42 percent last week. The highest was 80 percent on Jan. 16, 2000. The lowest was 7 percent in late 1991 and early 1992.
PERSONAL FINANCES -- Fifty-nine percent say their own finances are excellent or good; it was 59 percent last week. The best was 70 percent on Aug. 30, 1998, matched in January 2000. The worst was 42 percent on March 14, 1993.
BUYING CLIMATE -- Thirty-nine percent say it's an excellent or good time to buy things; it was 42 percent last week. The best was 57 percent on Jan. 16, 2000. The worst was 20 percent in fall 1990.
METHODOLOGY -- The ABC News/Money magazine Consumer Comfort Index represents a rolling average based on telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,000 adults nationwide each month. This week's results are based on 1,000 interviews in the four weeks ending Dec. 26, 2004, and have an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The ABC/Money index is derived by subtracting the negative response to each index question from the positive response to that question. The three resulting numbers are then added and divided by three. The index can range from +100 (everyone positive on all three measures) to -100 (all negative on all three measures). The survey began in December 1985.
Note to readers: As of next week The Washington Post, longtime polling partner of ABC News, will replace Money magazine as co-sponsor of this weekly survey. The change is in sponsorship only; the survey itself will be unchanged methodologically.
See previous analyses in our Poll Vault.