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Consumer Confidence Fades?

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    March 14, 2014

    The two main gauges of the American mood – the Conference Board’s consumer confidenceindex and the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index – have held up pretty well in recent months after tumbling last fall amid another government budget fight that led to a partial shutdown that lasted a few weeks.

    You can see that fall dip in the chart below from this item at Gallup where things took a turn for the worse in the latest report released yesterday, their weekly economic confidence index falling to the lowest level since mid-December.

    As shown in the lower panel, it was the sharp decline in the outlook for the future that dragged the overall index down as this sub-index dropped from -11 to -20 with some 57 percent of the respondents saying things are getting worse, not better.

    As reported last week, Bloomberg’s consumer comfort index shows no such deterioration recently and, with the weather warming after a nasty winter, you’d think that, absent another crisis of some kind this spring, Americans’ outlook should brighten. We’ll see…

    Images: via Flickr (licence attribution)

    About The Author

    As you may have already deduced, this is not your typical financial blog, accompanied by some run-of-the-mill investment newsletter, and I’m not your typical financial writer.

    In fact, I spent my entire working career as an engineer before retiring back in 2007 at the tender young age of 46. Two years prior to that in 2005 I started writing a blog – The Mess That Greenspan Made – mostly just to poke fun at the housing bubble and the policy makers who had led us down that path.

    Details about the investment newsletter and information about the performance of the associated “model portfolio” can be found here and if there are any questions that I can help answer, just send mail to tim@iaconoresearch.com.


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