Consumer Confidence Is Up. Wait, Compared To What?

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.

Fewer Americans said jobs were “hard to get,” the survey found, with that measure slipping to 44.7 percent from 46.6 percent. Those saying jobs were plentiful climbed to a still meager 5.7 percent, but that was still higher than April’s 4.9 percent.

“Consumers are considerably less pessimistic than they were earlier this year,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center.

Respondents claiming that “jobs are plentiful” were reached during a tropical cruise in Alaska. On a boat full of mermaids and unicorns.

U.S. consumer confidence sees biggest jump in 6 years [Reuters]

(Photo: dooleymtv)


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  1. HIV 2 Elway says:

    My spending behaviors have actually picked up. Too many deals to be had on craigslist as deperate people seem to be selling everything. Now if I was only quicker responded to that $250 Fender Rhodes yesterday…

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @HIV 2 Elway: Our spending has been up too – but it’s a combination of needing things and also taking advantage of deals. Mr. Pi needed a suit, and we got about $100 taken off the jacket and pants. I needed some new work clothes to diversify my wardrobe and ended up getting really nice, high quality pants for $13.

      • HIV 2 Elway says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: Ms HIV and I have been considering some higher ticket items; new windows, replace the HVAC. Contractors seem to be chomping at the bit for work and I want to take advantage of the Obama tax breaks.

      • Etoiles says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: We’ve been in much the same position. He really, really needed a new suit and I needed clothes that fit to wear to the office (the downside of losing weight) so we’ve been both shopping some really great deals on the good stuff lately.

        Between the deals on stuff we would eventually have bought anyway and all of the wedding planning, sometimes I feel like we’re a one-couple stimulus plan over here…

        • missi1226 says:

          @Etoiles: My husband and I were wondering if we were the only ones stimulating the economy. It has felt as if we have spent more money over the last 8 months, than we ever had our entire lives.

          We got engaged on March 4, married May 9, and I bought a new car last October. We are normally not big shoppers, but we had the money, as well as the “need”, so we splurged.

    • thelushie says:

      @HIV 2 Elway: Our spending has been going up. Prices have been going down and there are really great deals to be had.

  2. I Love New Jersey says:

    You can prove anything with polls.
    There is a great video that explains this:

  3. boxjockey68 says:

    You can spin it however you want it. The big picture is hard to see with our current biased media.
    I personally have adopted my great grandmother’s ideals, don’t need credit, if you can’t pay cash or save for it then you don’t need it, spend less & save more. It seems to be working just fine for our household.

    • jsbeagle says:

      @boxjockey68: Until you need credit to buy something like a house.

      Its ok to use credit cards and build up a credit rating. All you have to do is pay them off every month. No credit charges, and many give you cash back just for using them. Not to mention other perks of using credit cards like all the protections they give you including a way to dispute a charge, or even having warranty coverage doubled just by using a certain card.

    • anduin says:

      eh keep doing what youre doing, trying to get people to buy things they don’t really need is a serious problem in what the administration and interest groups are trying to do to get the economy rolling again. I tend to avoid using my credit card except for groceries and gas because of the benefits from both of those places.

  4. katieoh says:

    the last lines of this post are why i read the consumerist, basically. :P

    • bender123 says:


      There are jobs…like minimum wage and such. As a laid off MBA, who did not qualify for anything except a thanks for your time, heres a tissue, I can find many ways to use my extensive knowledge and experience in process design…like stocking grocery store shelves and being bossed around a recent high school grad…Bite me, people on cruise.

      Nothing like getting whacked from salary to minimum wage.

  5. takes_so_little says:

    Even if this indicator can be taken at face value, NO single indicator is worth looking at in isolation. What about unemployment, underemployment, housing starts, and others?

  6. starrion says:

    Waiting lines at Suicide Point down 20%.

    Food pantries report it is taking 45 minutes longer for starving hordes to empty the shelves. Now there is food available for up to ninety minutes after the doors open.

    Job fair reports only 15,000 people showed up to compete for 423 positions at area hotels and fast food restaurants.

    Green shoots! I see them.

  7. nakedscience says:

    I bought a car last August, which has taken up all my extra spending money. I’m even getting a roommate, which I have refused to do for a loooong time, but I really want to get this car paid off, so I can afford to live in a nice place on my own (instead of in a roach-infested apartment on my own). Sigh.

  8. Trai_Dep says:

    Love the “polls can say ANYthing” comments.
    It simply shows that the poster has never taken a statistics class, and is so willfully ignorant that they never will.
    If you’re a thinking adult, you owe it to yourself to overcome your intellectual deficiencies (we’ve all got them and life is largely about overcoming them). If you can’t independently verify your information sources, you’ll wallow your entire life in a giant mudpool of ignorance.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @Trai_Dep: To wit:

      [A key ] measure slipped to 44.7% from 46.6% and 5.7% from 4.9%.
      “Consumers are considerably less pessimistic than they were earlier this year,” said the director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center.

      “Considerably”?! Data doesn’t support the facts. It could be the beginnings of a shift, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves, people.

    • sanjsrik says:


      ooh, wallowing in a mudpool of ignorance, where is it and why has it been kept a secret from me for so long?

    • MooseOfReason says:

      @Trai_Dep: You claim he’s ignorant, yet you haven’t even watched the video he posted.

      How do I know you haven’t watched the video? It clearly explains how poll questions can be skewed to favor one side or another.

  9. mbz32190 says:

    It is all just B.S. to distract the sheeple and make everything seem it is okay…we are past the point of no return folks. Things are gonna get much worse

  10. axiomatic says:

    Mmmmmm Fantasy… it’s apparently what’s for breakfast.

  11. synergy says:

    They must’ve polled people in the south, or Texas. It’s hard to be up in arms when you didn’t have a whole lot to lose in the first place. However, with coastal people moving in because they can’t afford CA or NY, things are actually looking up in some places.

    • axiomatic says:

      @synergy: You do realize that us Texans are not riding around on horses still right? So all of us in the South are dumb and poor? Am I reading you right there?

      Just trying to confirm that is why you are dismissing the southerners as tainting the poll.

      (Nevermind the fact that most Texas homes are bigger, more land, higher tech, and cost immensely less than homes in CA or NY.)

      • synergy says:

        @axiomatic: I’m in Texas. I didn’t say anything about horses or anything else. However, in general, the population is less educated and everything costs much less than on the coasts and therefore most people are paid less. That was my point.

        • axiomatic says:

          @synergy: Got it, sorry to call you out there my fellow Texan. Sometimes text looses the intent of the spoken words. It sounded like one of the usual “Texas is worthless” replies. Sorry that I misunderstood.

  12. geeniusatwrok says:

    Riiiight, he said, while recording required yet pointless job applications on that state form so he could get a 14th week of UI payments.

  13. MissPiss says:

    Okay everyone, the media said so, so its time to pack your bags and leave “We are in a horrible recession people!!!” land and enter “Shop, spend, shop again!” land!

  14. ShariC says:

    About 6 months ago, I told one of my students that her company’s woes (a major computer maker) would likely bottom out some time this year because people (and companies) can only hold out so long before “need” forces them to spend again or their ability to exercise self-deprivation falters. Also, if people have been frugal and paying down debt, they may feel they’ve taken care of enough of it to be a little more relaxed now.

    My guess is that the jobs availability question is far more complex than the change in spending attitude. It could be people had such low expectations that their pessimism had to start to let up at some point.

  15. HogwartsAlum says:

    I shopped this weekend! I bought tires, some clothes and some stuff on Amazon. And I’m going to get myself a new microwave for my birfday.

    Sorry to say, most of what I bought except for the Amazon was stuff I needed, not stuff I just wanted. :P

  16. Waverly V Phillips says:

    Well to me personally the economy does seem to be on a upward swing, but ones outlook will always be based on the severity of their current plight. So polls like this are basically useless other than for propaganda purposes.

  17. anduin says:

    I like that sign, an honest merchant is hard to find