Gallup’s two sentiment polls are often in opposite directions. This seems to mirror the paradox of individual opinion that is seen so often during recoveries that individuals see the world as risky but their own situations as favorable.
Individuals are isolated from what others are experiencing and therefore accept the media view as a substitute. This is even though what they see with their own eyes is positive.
The paradox view in which the world is perceived as being on the verge of collapse while I am OK is, I think, reflected in these 2 Gallup polls.
My 2 cents:
We can also see this phenomena in new car and home sales. While consumer sentiment continues to fall, we are seeing a hard rebound in both auto and home sales. At its basic level this means that while consumers are becoming LESS optimistic about the economy in general, they feel safe enough about their own circumstances to increasingly make large ticket purchases of illiquid assets (cars, homes).
This behavior contradicts their at least outward views….