Hip hip, hooray: Americans seem pretty darn positive right about now, according to a new survey that says consumer confidence for last month was at the highest level in almost five years. The report pegs this feeling to improving conditions in the job market, as hiring in the summer months was stronger than predicted.
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again — the economy gets a big boost when we consumers are out spending our hard-earned money on stuff. So when we hear that spending is up, the first reaction is “Yay!” But this latest uptick in spending seems to be mainly because gas is so gosh darn expensive, not because we’re making any more money at work. Blurgh. [More]
Stores are busy announcing holiday hirings, home values are rising and American are feeling pretty darn good about all of that. So good, in fact, that a new survey of consumers shows we’re the most confident we’ve been about the economy for seven months. [More]
Even though they haven’t been making any additional money for the past three months, consumer spending ticked up 0.6% in September. Are people spending more because they feel that the low interest rates they get from the bank make it less valuable to save? [More]
The number of new unemployment claims filed nationwide was down to only 570,000 last week, but consumer confidence is at a four-month low. Maybe that’s because newsworthy layoffs continue, including Whirlpool announcing that they will cut 1,100 full-time positions in the U.S., located in Evansville, Indiana.
Well, after a quick, hi-energy burst of enthusiasm in the spring, we’re back in the doldrums. The consumer confidence index is down to 49.3, below its May level of 54.8. (A level of 90 would indicate a “solid” economy.) And June sales figures due out next week are expected to show a fairly dismal 6% decline since May.
Do you feel more confident? According to the Conference Board, consumer confidence is up to its highest level in eight months, and made its biggest increase in six years.
The consumer confidence index plunged to 25 in Feb., down from 37.4 in Jan. Many economists only predicted it would fall to 35. The index is based on a monthly survey of 5,000 households, responding “positive”, “negative” or “neutral” to five questions about how they feel about certain economic conditions. A decline means people are going to be spending less. Here’s a more specific breakdown of how people responded to the specific questions:
Consumers are hurting these days and they haven’t hurt this bad since Papa Bush was in office way back in 1992.
Consumer confidence hit 57.2 Tuesday, a 16-year low. Sad, sad, sad economy. [NYT]
Consumer Confidence is now at a 26-year low. Do you need a hug? [Marketwatch]
Consumer Confidence is now at a 16 year low, according to the Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers. [Reuters]
Reuters says that consumer confidence has plunged to levels associated with the recessions of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s.
The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers index of consumer sentiment dropped to 69.6, the lowest reading since February 1992, and below analysts’ median forecast for a preliminary reading of 76.3.
There are mounting anecdotal signs that beginning in December Americans cut back significantly on personal consumption, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy.