U.S. investor optimism about the nation's investing climate jumped markedly in the first quarter to hit a new record since 2000, found a latest Gallup poll.
The Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index, which was based on questions asked Feb. 10-19 on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, stands at +126, up from +96 in the fourth quarter of 2016 and +40 a year ago.
This is a new record since the index hit +130 in November 2000, toward the end of the Internet boom, Gallup said.
The survey reflects the views of U.S. investors with 10,000 U.S. dollars or more invested in stocks, bonds or mutual funds, it said.
The Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index reflects two aspects of investor confidence encompassing seven different measures.
Investors' outlook for four aspects of the economy includes the stock market, economic growth, unemployment and inflation.
The poll showed investor optimism has improved on all the measures but rose the most on the stock market (with net confidence up 15 points) and economic growth (up 11 points).
"This likely reflects the market reaching a new record high in February, as well as the broader improvement in the public's attitudes about the economy evident since the presidential election," Gallup said.
Enhanced confidence among investors in economic growth may be based partly on some investors' happiness with the outcome of last November's presidential election, rather than tangible factors aiding their wallet, Gallup noted.
It showed that confidence among U.S. investors who identify as or lean Republican rose 55 points this quarter, compared to only 15 points among Democrats.
U.S. President Donald Trump, a no-nonsense billionaire-turned politician, has vowed to prioritize economic growth and job creation under his rule.