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Consumer Comfort Slides Over Economic Worries

AMERICANS STARTING TO FRET THE FUTURE … Consumer comfort in America broke out of a thirteen-week holding pattern this week … just not in a good way. Bloomberg’s Consumer Comfort Index (CCI) – which measures consumer comfort on a scale of zero to 100 – slipped from 43.6 to 42.8…

AMERICANS STARTING TO FRET THE FUTURE …

Consumer comfort in America broke out of a thirteen-week holding pattern this week … just not in a good way.

Bloomberg’s Consumer Comfort Index (CCI) – which measures consumer comfort on a scale of zero to 100 – slipped from 43.6 to 42.8 last week.  Driving the decline?  Increasingly pessimistic views of the American economy – most notably the “national economy” subindex, which has shed 3.3 points in three weeks to reach a 2016 low of 32.6.  Meanwhile the CCI’s buying climate subindex held at 38.3 – a three-month low.

The data (.pdf here) is a sign Americans are beginning to realize all is not well economically … despite the best efforts of U.S. president Barack Obama to frame his economic “legacy” in positive tones and upbeat rhetoric.

“Consumer caution the past few weeks is unsurprising,” noted researchers.  “While strong employment numbers and tentative signs of improvement in a weak housing market are positives, wages remain mostly stagnant and consumer spending has underperformed.”

Bloomberg’s CCI has been compiled on a weekly basis since December 1985 by Langer and Associates.  Its record high of 69 was reached on January 16, 2000.  Meanwhile its record low of 23 has been recorded on four separate occasions – most recently on June 21, 2009.

Hopefully the index will gain steam along with the rest of the economy but we’ve got to be honest … the indicators aren’t looking so good right now.

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17 comments

Bible Thumper March 31, 2016 at 12:20 pm

Yes, it’s terrible. The index is at a three month low. Remember those bad ole days three months ago. I was eating out of a can and living in a box back then.

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Rocky Verdad March 31, 2016 at 1:13 pm

I found the dog food taste better when you put mustard on it. How about you?

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down down down March 31, 2016 at 1:26 pm

While the declining unemployment rate during the Obama presidency tells a positive story about Americans getting back to work, it’s also received a major assist from the large number of Americans who have dropped out of the workforce altogether. The plummeting labor participation rate is attributable—in part—to the retirement of baby boomers and to out-of-work Americans who are discouraged enough to give up the job hunt. there are 60, 70, 80 million people out there that want to work that aren’t getting jobs- alluding to Americans who are of working age but aren’t in the labor force.

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sparklecity March 31, 2016 at 12:23 pm

So far so good for me (now it could all go to shit tomorrow…) but I’ve increased my personal spending and with the lower price of gas have a even more money in my pocket.
Am planning on some fairly expensive home improvement projects in the near future, getting a classic Ford Mustang up to 100% showroom quality and just upgraded my internet and satellite TV systems to go along with my new flat screen TV I bought during an after Christmas sale. Within the last few weeks have bought a new grill and a new push lawnmower from Lowe’s. Will be buying a new window air conditioner for the laundry room this weekend if I can catch one on sale
I’m fiscally conservative (been that way all my life) but when I see clear to spend some money, I’ll do so as long as I can afford it.
Right now I feel confident to let go of some cash on things that might be considered non-essential so right now I feel OK with buying some stuff.
You can take that for what it’s worth FITS………

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Rocky Verdad March 31, 2016 at 1:12 pm

Dang!!!!! You go Sparkle.

I’d add – the chart shows it’s still above 2014 and 2015 – whole thing’s in the shitter I guess.

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sparklecity March 31, 2016 at 2:27 pm

I just love my new grill (just ask Mrs. Sparklecity and watch her roll her eyes…….)
Oh,Oh,Oh,Oh,,,,,,if forgot to mention……..I bought a grill cover this week!!
****You can’t hide money!!!****

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Rocky Verdad March 31, 2016 at 2:48 pm

I’ll be over at 7 – I’ll bring the rib eyes.

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sparklecity March 31, 2016 at 3:33 pm

You’re a prince.
I’ve got a $10 bottle of Merlot from “Be-Lo”,plenty of George Dickel ,”taters” for micro-waving and even an unopened pack of Hav-A-Tampa Jewels that we can smoke on the deck listening to light jazz or blues (or take your pick since you’re the guest…) on DirecTV’s “Sonic-Tap” piped in from the den while we’re grilling …..
It don’t get no better than that…….God Bless America!!!

ChxLilNews March 31, 2016 at 12:46 pm

This just in…..numbers changed slightly.
RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!!!

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euwe max March 31, 2016 at 12:49 pm

QUICK~ LISTEN TO THE CATO CDS!!! VOTE LIBERTARIAN! IT’S OUR ONLY HOPE!

RUN! RUN!

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Flip March 31, 2016 at 1:01 pm

The overall trend is a slight incline, the sky is falling!

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euwe max March 31, 2016 at 12:48 pm

weak dollar… bad
strong dollar.. bad
speculation… high oil prices…. bad
oversupply … low oil prices… bad

stock market 18,000 …

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Flip March 31, 2016 at 1:00 pm

Will just plays the “Everything is Awesome” song in reverse for inspiration.

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euwe max March 31, 2016 at 1:18 pm

The screams of the damned are piped in to heaven as muzak.

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Point of Order March 31, 2016 at 3:02 pm

Median income over the last 10 years is still down though. The stock market doesn’t always translate to wealth increases for everyone as a whole.

That being said, I think there’s a mini-boom going on- it’s just a mixed bag.

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down down down March 31, 2016 at 1:19 pm

The global economy is weakening, due to a perfect storm of a cratering economy in China, a crash of oil prices, slower growth in the Third World and a realization by central banks that they can’t fix what’s broken. There is a lot of whistling past the graveyard that the U.S. can somehow continue our (rather tepid) recovery, but in a global economy, no country is an island.

Fears of a recession push the stock market downward; then the wipeout of stock values helps bring that recession nearer.

Consumers benefit for now from the cheaper gas prices at the pump. But with wage growth minimal, and real careers giving way to a succession of on-demand “gig” jobs, that’s small comfort.

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Bible Thumper March 31, 2016 at 1:31 pm

The South Carolina Policy Council “The Nerve” has posted a totally irrelevant opinion on the Wilson / Pascoe issue that totally avoids the Wilson /Pascoe issue. You can use Disqus.
http://www.thenerve.org/why-there-are-two-prosecutors-in-the-first-place/

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