Optimism among U.S. investors in the third quarter of 2016 has reached heights not seen since before the recession. The Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index has now climbed to +79, an increase of 17 points from the second quarter after a 22-point gain from the previous quarter. The index is now at its highest point since July 2007.
The third quarter marks the first time the index has risen above +70 since the recession. The index went from +48 in the fourth quarter of 2014 up to +70 in the second quarter of 2015, but then dropped back down to +40 in the first quarter of this year.
The largest gains were seen in optimism among retired investors. Significant gains in retirees' outlook for both their personal finances and the national economy pushed their overall index from +45 in the second quarter to +81 in the third.