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Consumer Confidence Cracks

One of the few bright spots in the American economy this year has been consumer confidence – a key measure which drives retail spending (which in turn drives production, which in turn drives job growth, etc.). Theoretically … Unfortunately, there are signs America’s recent run of positive consumer sentiment is…

One of the few bright spots in the American economy this year has been consumer confidence – a key measure which drives retail spending (which in turn drives production, which in turn drives job growth, etc.).

Theoretically …

Unfortunately, there are signs America’s recent run of positive consumer sentiment is coming to an end. This week, the Thomson Reuters/ University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment slipped unexpectedly from a six-year high of 85.1 all the way down to 80. Analysts had predicted the measure would tick up to 85.2 – resulting in the largest expectations “miss” since Michigan started tracking consumer confidence in 1999.

According to Zero Hedge, the American consumer “appears (to) have finally woken up to soaring mortgage rates, rising gas prices, and only part-time job growth.”

So … is this sudden and unexpected plunge in consumer confidence an aberration? Or are we looking at the beginning of a major shift in consumer sentiment that could lead to a dismal second half of the year for the U.S. economy?

We certainly hope it is the former … but all the evidence is pointing in the other direction.

UPDATE: Looks like we were right.

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12 comments

Frank Pytel August 16, 2013 at 12:37 pm

How reliable can a survey be when the main recorder of the answers to the questions live in a state where the economy has literally gone to hell in a hand basket. (Edit: And been there for decades). Further, having read the survey questions, there is so much room for interpretation that it’s just unfathomable.

3 of the 5 questions allow for an answer of “or what”. How do you interpret the answers to (Edit:) or what? There is no doubt that as many points there are on the political spectrum, you would receive at least that many interpretations.

I wonder just how many of the 5000 are actually income earners, watching half of their paychecks going into federal and state coffers to be spent on hellians that refuse to work, and how many are relatives of Mr. Spicoli?

https://www.fitsnews.com/2013/08/15/manning-they-found-jeff-spicoli/

Reply
Centrist View August 16, 2013 at 12:42 pm

The Walmart customer base is a much larger sample size than the U of M survey.

When Shoppers Skip Wal-Mart, You Know They’re Rolling Back On Spending
http://www.forbes.com/sites/abrambrown/2013/08/15/when-shoppers-skip-wal-mart-you-know-consumers-are-rolling-back-on-spending/

Walmart cuts sales forecast as consumers rein in spending
Retailer blames higher payroll taxes and fuel costs for consumers’ increased caution despite positive economic outlook
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/aug/15/walmart-sales-forecast-consumer-spending

Walmart Darkens Outlook Because Of Tough Economy, Payroll Tax Increase
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/15/walmart-lower-sales_n_3760508.html

Reply
Frank Pytel August 16, 2013 at 12:58 pm

As I’m sure many of their other shoppers do, I work. But there is no doubt in anyone’s mind who shops at Stuffmart. And it sure as hell isn’t the people earning 6 figures. Unless of course your that guy in Kentucky (TN?) that has 16 kids (That fracker needs a TV bad. But at least he pays for his kids WITHOUT MY MONEY. :) ).

So I find your citation very revealing and confident that this is a real and more accurate predictor of actual economic conditions. Lordy knows what’s gonna happen when dem welfare mama’s stop spending on hair dye and formula.

Great Find CV. Thanks for sharing.

Reply
eildonaus August 18, 2013 at 4:45 am

Lordy knows what’s gonna happen when reactionary rightists stop piling on (maybe Pile and Tell–sounds kinda, well, different) with the updated version of those”welfare queens with Cadillacs and steaks at the grocery store”. I’m sure you have an updated version of Willie Horton too. ‘Scuse me sir, your racism is showing. Best use a bit more code and dog whistles. I forgot, you don’t care what people think (about your racism).

Reply
eildonaus August 17, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Half their income to taxes? Puhleeze

Reply
Polyphemos August 18, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Good points, Frank. Nothing to add. Economy sucks. (Dang, I just added something!)

Reply
Frank Pytel August 16, 2013 at 12:37 pm

How reliable can a survey be when the main recorder of the answers to the questions live in a state where the economy has literally gone to hell in a hand basket. (Edit: And been there for decades). Further, having read the survey questions, there is so much room for interpretation that it’s just unfathomable.

3 of the 5 questions allow for an answer of “or what”. How do you interpret the answers to (Edit:) or what? There is no doubt that as many points there are on the political spectrum, you would receive at least that many interpretations.

I wonder just how many of the 5000 are actually income earners, watching half of their paychecks going into federal and state coffers to be spent on hellians that refuse to work, and how many are relatives of Mr. Spicoli?

https://www.fitsnews.com/2013/08/15/manning-they-found-jeff-spicoli/

Reply
Centrist View August 16, 2013 at 12:42 pm

The Walmart customer base is a much larger sample size than the U of M survey.

When Shoppers Skip Wal-Mart, You Know They’re Rolling Back On Spending
http://www.forbes.com/sites/abrambrown/2013/08/15/when-shoppers-skip-wal-mart-you-know-consumers-are-rolling-back-on-spending/

Walmart cuts sales forecast as consumers rein in spending
Retailer blames higher payroll taxes and fuel costs for consumers’ increased caution despite positive economic outlook
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/aug/15/walmart-sales-forecast-consumer-spending

Walmart Darkens Outlook Because Of Tough Economy, Payroll Tax Increase
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/15/walmart-lower-sales_n_3760508.html

Reply
Frank Pytel August 16, 2013 at 12:58 pm

As I’m sure many of their other shoppers do, I work. But there is no doubt in anyone’s mind who shops at Stuffmart. And it sure as hell isn’t the people earning 6 figures. Unless of course your that guy in Kentucky (TN?) that has 16 kids (That fracker needs a TV bad. But at least he pays for his kids WITHOUT MY MONEY. :) ).

So I find your citation very revealing and confident that this is a real and more accurate predictor of actual economic conditions. Lordy knows what’s gonna happen when dem welfare mama’s stop spending on hair dye and formula.

Great Find CV. Thanks for sharing.

Reply
eildonaus August 18, 2013 at 4:45 am

Lordy knows what’s gonna happen when reactionary rightists stop piling on (maybe Pile and Tell–sounds kinda, well, different) with the updated version of those”welfare queens with Cadillacs and steaks at the grocery store”. I’m sure you have an updated version of Willie Horton too. ‘Scuse me sir, your racism is showing. Best use a bit more code and dog whistles. I forgot, you don’t care what people think (about your racism).

Reply
eildonaus August 17, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Half their income to taxes? Puhleeze

Reply
Slartibartfast August 18, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Good points, Frank. Nothing to add. Economy sucks. (Dang, I just added something!)

Reply

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