We are inundated with media, pundits, and bloggers telling America what its opinion should be.
We are similarly flooded with pollsters — who seem to get Presidential elections and politics in general abysmally wrong — telling us what we think.
There are three long term, reliable measures of consumer/business confidence upon which I have historically relied to provide an accurate picture of the state of affairs in the country:
The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
I particularly like to be able to see the trend as I am a firm believer that the trend is your friend. It shows you things that a discrete number cannot.