Consumer Comfort: End Of The Rebound?

MEASURE ON HOLD AFTER RECENT UPTICKS … || By FITSNEWS || Bloomberg has released its weekly Consumer Comfort Index (CCI) – revealing an end to the measure’s recent uptick. “The CCI stands at 43.2 on its scale on 0 to 100, essentially unchanged from last week,” analysts wrote. “It lost…


|| By FITSNEWS || Bloomberg has released its weekly Consumer Comfort Index (CCI) – revealing an end to the measure’s recent uptick.

“The CCI stands at 43.2 on its scale on 0 to 100, essentially unchanged from last week,” analysts wrote. “It lost 7.8 points in nine weeks to early June, then gained half that back – but has cooled since, losing a non-significant 0.8 points in the last two weeks.”

Hmmm … wonder how this will be spun by the “rainbows and unicorns” (a.k.a. “everything is awesome“) crowd?

Glad you asked.  From the release (.pdf here) …

Despite its ups and downs this year, the CCI’s still managing its best year on average since 2007, thanks mainly to a 12.5-point rally from late September to late January. Its 2015 average is 2.3 points above its long-term average …

The CCI measures consumers’ comfort level on a scale of zero to 100.  Published weekly since December 1985, it records Americans’ views on three key items: The national economy, the buying climate and their personal finances.  Produced by Langer Research Associates, CCI data is based on 1,000 national random-sample landline and cellular telephone interviews, 250 per week (in a four-week rolling average).

What do we make of this data?

It’s not terrible, but it’s not good either … in fact it strikes us as another indication that America’s consumer economy remains resistant to the “hope and change” we keep hearing about.


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TroubleBaby July 16, 2015 at 11:08 am

It’ll probably be good for Bible Thumper’s ego to hear you acknowledged the mini-boom.

I do think there’s a good chance for a bust in the next six months, money supply has been dropping dramatically the last month or so and if the Austrian Business Cycle theory is correct there should be a bust if it continues.

To put it in perspective, the money supply was growing at around 8-9% per annum in the early months this year….it’s dropped to a little over 3% growth in June.

You can get an idea of this by checking the Federal Reserve’s “money stock” reports:

You’ll notice it doesn’t match my #’s exactly, but that’s because I subscribe to a service that calculates money supply more accurately and a different manner than the Fed.

Regardless, you can see the rise up to May and subsequent fall off this month…which if it continues into August and September would be very bad news….and all the capital structure being supported by money printed disappears and liquidity dries up….until the banks release their reserves and then all hell breaks loose. (think stagflation)

Of course, seasonally money supply always drops in June…but the question is whether it will pick back up or not in the fall….

Bible Thumper July 16, 2015 at 12:49 pm

I have no complaints about FITS here.

Tazmaniac July 16, 2015 at 1:23 pm

I guess that depends on the new definition of unemployment. While i respectfully defer to your niche of expertise, anecdotal evidence suggests many are under employed or have given up but are not eligible for benefits. Personally, I have never witnessed so many twenty somethings that have never held a tax paying job in their life.

Bible Thumper July 16, 2015 at 2:21 pm

This graph shows that there is a long way to go to recover from the Great Recession.

I thought 2014 was pretty good. 2015 is looking hohum.

Tazmaniac July 16, 2015 at 3:07 pm

What about percent of non government workforce to population? Wouldn’t that be a better indicator?

Bible Thumper July 16, 2015 at 3:31 pm

I have to do a search on my PC.
Here is the Labor participation rate for those 25 to 54.
It eliminates the effect of more older retirees or more delaying work for college. Unfortunately this chart includes those actively searching for work. It has dropped about 3% with no recovery.

Bible Thumper July 16, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Here is one I’ve never seen before. A 25-54 employment population rating. It doesn’t include job searchers. It shows about a 5% recession drop and only about 2% recovery.

Bible Thumper July 16, 2015 at 3:56 pm

Government employment, but not a ratio. I’m suspicious that it doesn’t include military, medical or education.

Total private employment, again not a ratio. Again suspicious about medical and Education being included. Check “include graphs” and “go”.

TroubleBaby July 16, 2015 at 1:48 pm

Yea, but as you pointed out a couple of weeks ago we are still a long way off from where we started.

If it means anything to you, there’s another prominent believer in the ABCT that agrees with you more than me on a “rosy” employment outlook.

He claims the U6 numbers are a result of “losers in society” that are basically never employable.

There’s something to that, but I just don’t agree that accounts for all of it.

Like Taz below, I think we are seeing generational damage to especially the younger generations due to economic malaise.

I’ve agreed with your assessment of a better picture/mini boom this year, but we aren’t anywhere near where we were in the late 90’s up to 9/11.

I think the fundamentals are bad(and the system irretrievable)….I think we get to see the US test Japan’s model of debt to GDP ratio until something even worse comes along.

I’ll take the “Chicken Little” comparisons coming my way, to each their own. We all have to do what we think is right for ourselves/our families in the end. But I don’t attribute the problems in the younger generation solely to the MSM driven reporting; like “narcissism” or “poor schooling”, etc. They might be factors, but they don’t account for the bigger employment picture of our suffering youth.

It could be worse I suppose, our youth unemployment #’s could resemble Italy or Spain- but ultimately I think it’s systemic here just like in those places and the young are suffering disproportionately compared to the older generations on the whole.

The old generations are literally stealing wealth by money printing to support all their programs(SS, Medicaid, etc.) and will leave the younger generations worse than penniless, but in generational debt and no job skills the older ones got in their youth because the economic was functional more so than today.

I feel lucky, I just turned 44 and feel like I just missed getting monkey hammered. I pity the younger generations.

euwe max July 16, 2015 at 8:09 pm

When the Republicans take office, we’ll get to see how much money there *really* is available….

…because it will cost another few Trillion to “wipe out ISIS” and “finish the job we started in Iraq,” “more boots on the ground,” and “sending nuclear dirt busters into the mountains of Iran.” for the forseeable future.

We always find that America is more prosperous than we thought when Republicans are in power – they cut taxes on oil, the military industrial complex, and bail out the richest men and corporations in America, remove benefits from servicemen, end support for the poor and elderly, all the while declaring new wars on a technique – and prosecuting said wars without a definable end point.

TroubleBaby July 16, 2015 at 8:31 pm

If the day ever comes when you abandon the two party paradigm, you’ll be like soaring bird.

euwe max July 16, 2015 at 8:00 pm

End of the rebound?

Are you admitting there was a rebound?

Or is this one of those scams like Tide is always using: “New, and Improved” every year – without ever mentioning how bad the previous products were… only reversed?


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