The state of the US economy is strong—unemployment is low and consumer spending is up—but many Americans don’t seem to be feeling the effects in their wallets. This odd dichotomy, between a resilient economy and a pessimistic public, has economists scratching their heads. While some may attribute this phenomenon to the political climate, economic data indicates that issues run deeper. A recent poll conducted by the University of Michigan showed that 51% of people rated their financial situation as “far worse” than the reality. Additionally, a Gallup survey revealed that only 29% of Americans believe their economic situation has improved since Donald Trump became president. This sentiment is also being reflected in people’s actions. Consumer spending numbers have been increasing, however, they do not appear to be consistent with public opinion. Americans are not spending or voting like they’re benefitting from a strong economy. In particular, US retail stocks are down more than 21% since the start of the year. So what’s happening here? Economic analysts point to several factors that could explain why Americans may be feeling down despite a vibrant economy. For one, wage growth has been slower than expected. Also, stock market performance, although strong, is not producing the same windfall gains as it did during the dot-com bubble. Lastly, some worry that the economic “boom” will end abruptly due to increasing trade tensions with China and other countries. Despite the lingering economic uncertainty, there are some signs that average Americans are beginning to feel the benefits. Consumer confidence has been gradually increasing since late 2018, indicating that people are more optimistic about their financial futures. It remains to be seen, however, if this will translate into more spending or voting in support of the economy. For now, the puzzle of why Americans are unusually down on a solid economy remains unsolved. But by keeping an eye on consumer confidence, stock market performance, and other economic indicators, Americans can get a better idea of the true state of the economy – and if their worries are unfounded or founded.