Under Trump, Americans' economic optimism hits highest level since 1999

Americans are also exceedingly positive about their future personal financial situation

Americans are increasingly ranking the economy under President Trump as the best since the late 1990s, while reporting a surge in confidence levels of their own personal finances.

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According to a Gallup poll released last week, 59 percent of individuals in the U.S. said they are now better off financially than last year. That topped the all-time high of 58 percent, reported in January 1999 at the heart of the dot-com boom, with conditions mirroring the current economic state.

Only 20 percent said the inverse.

Americans are also exceedingly positive about their future personal financial situation: About three in four U.S. adults, or 74 percent, predicted that they’ll be better off financially one year from now, the highest in Gallup’s trend since 1977.

The survey, conducted between. Jan. 2-15, comes as Trump hinges his 2020 reelection campaign on the strength of the U.S. economy.

Trump frequently appeals to voters by touting the “great economy we’ve had in the history of our country,” and warning that Democrats will derail growth, while dangling the possibility of another round of tax cuts. The record-long economic expansion is currently in its 11th year, although most economists agree that growth is beginning to taper.

“If any of these people that I’ve been watching on this stage got elected, your 401(k)s would be down the tubes,” Trump said in October. “You’d destroy the country.”

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The labor market is booming — job creation is solid with a robust 225,000 added in January and unemployment is near a half-century low — and the economy is growing at a slow but steady pace, further dampening fears of an impending recession. Workers in 24 states also received a pay raise at the start of the year, with the number of cities and counties that have a minimum hourly wage of $15 nearly doubling.

“Republicans' positive views on their finances are something of a given for a GOP president, at least during good economic times,” Gallup said. “The majority levels of optimism among political independents are more significant for Trump's reelection prospects -- and something Trump will want to maintain in 2020 to stay competitive.”

Still, Democratic presidential hopefuls have pointed to a growing gap between the haves and the have-nots. According to the Census Bureau, income inequality in the U.S. climbed to the highest level in more than 50 years in 2018.

The Gallup poll surveyed 1,014 U.S. adults in all 50 states and Washington D.C. and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

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