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Consumers “Slog It Out”

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BAD DATA NOT ERODING CONSUMER COMFORT … YET

Economic indicators in America have been overwhelmingly negative of late – including a disastrous first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) print released earlier today.

Seriously … anything that starts with “zero-point …” is not good, people.

Anyway, consumers aren’t fretting the dismal data too much – at least that’s the takeaway from this week’s Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index (CCI).

“The CCI overall continues to slog it out; it’s essentially unchanged at 43.4, holding within a 1.0-point range since mid-March and a 2.0-point range the entire year,” analysts noted in assessing the latest data (.pdf here).

For those of you who are visually inclined …

consumer comfort

(Chart via Bloomberg)

The CCI – which measures consumer comfort on a scale of zero to 100 – has been compiled weekly by Langer and Associates all the way back to December 1985.  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.

The broader index is based on three key “subindices,” which track Americans’ personal finances, the national buying climate and views of the national economy.

How did those “subindices” look this week?

subindices

(Chart via Bloomberg)

Yeah … a holding pattern …

As we noted in assessing the lackluster GDP data earlier today, “the perpetual expansion of the welfare state, unchecked crony capitalism, wide open borders, reckless global interventionism, rigged trade deals, manipulated currency, the imposition of socialized medicine (a.k.a. ‘Obamacare’) and unrestrained deficit spending are conspiring to destroy the American economy.”

How to fix it?

Stop doing all that … and start letting the free market drive, for a change.

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