Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Confidence is up but still very low

Expanding on my thoughts in the previous post, I offer this chart with the latest figures on consumer confidence. Although confidence is close to a post-recession high, it is still abysmally low from a long-term historical perspective. Nobody is very excited about what is going on in the economy these days. To judge from this and other things (e.g., 10-yr Treasury yields of 2%), confidence in the future is still awfully weak. In fact, today's reading on this index is consistent with—if not weaker than—the readings we saw during prior recessions. There is still plenty of pessimism out there.


brodero said...

Not talked a lot about it the jobs hard to get number..37.5..lowest in 39 months..has a 94% correlation to the unemployment rate.

Benjamin Cole said...


Amplify...what does it mean?

Anonymous said...


"To assess how consumers view the employment environment, economists follow a labor-market statistic derived from the Conference Board’s report. The labor differential subtracts the percentage of respondents who said jobs are “hard to get” from the percentage who said jobs are “plentiful.”

In April the labor differential reached negative 29.1%, the best reading since November 2008. The labor differential hasn’t been positive since January 2008, near the beginning of the Great Recession."

Some of the other metrics in there didn't sound encouraging, especially the plans to purchase a car in the next 6 months. I suppose that bounces up and down on a whim, but unfortunately it would jive with something else I read yesterday.

McKibbinUSA said...

American "consumers" have become irrelevant...

Public Library said...

Fed policies are depleting real savings and economic growth. Until they stop redirecting captial to failed bubble industries (housing/finance come to mind), we can expect this to continue for a loooooong time.

Benjamin Cole said...

American consumers and small businesses are not confident.

They are not feeling the recovery.

I get the sense we are doing a Japan-lite.

Every year that goes by in this very slow growth mode is another year in which we come to expect this is the norm. Soon, people will believe that equities and real estate never appreciate. A self-fulfilling prophesy.

They will buy bonds, and then militate for deflation.

Then we will see Japan one better.