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Balls! Consumer Comfort Tanks …

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MEASURE HITS 2016 LOW …

This week we were really going to try and focus on some good news for a change.  We were going to do our best to hit the pause button on our “doom and gloom” worldview – and get ourselves hip to some “c’mon get happy.”

“Up with people,” right?  “Everything is awesome!”  “Rainbows and unicorns!”

The effing numbers aren’t cooperating though …

First we stumbled upon evidence that recently-touted income gains for 2015 were in fact rigged.  Now we find out consumer comfort – which was already struggling – has hit a new low for the year.

Bloomberg’s Consumer Comfort Index (CCI) dipped to 41.3 on its 0-100 scale this week – down four points from its yearly peak, which was reached just last month.  Not only that, “public expectations for the future remain gloomy,” according to analysts at Langer Research Associates.

Balls, right?  Indeed …

Here’s a look at the top line …

(Click to enlarge)

consumer-comfort-sept-22-2016

(Chart via Bloomberg)

Published weekly, the CCI is based on the performance of three subindices: Americans’ ratings of the national economy, their personal finances and the buying climate.  The broader index – and each of its three subindices – range from zero (bad) to 100 (good).

Lately, it’s been the “bad” taking the wheel …

Driving the decline (again) this week were Americans’ deteriorating views of their personal financial situation as well as the buying climate.

Take a look …

(Click to enlarge)

consumer-comfort-sept-22-subs

(Chart via Bloomberg)

Want more bad news?  In a separate question, only 22 percent of respondents said they thought the U.S. economy was “getting better” – the lowest reading of the year.  Meanwhile 38 percent said it was getting worse and 39 percent said it was “staying the same.”

Not good … especially with retailers heading into what could be a make-or-break holiday shopping season.

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: Real economic growth (a.k.a. consumer-drive expansion) will not return to this country unless policymakers in Washington, D.C. reject unrestrained deficit spendingcrony capitalist trade deals, the perpetual incentivizing of dependency, wide open bordersincessant global warmongeringsocialized medicine and ill-conceived money-printing.

And yes … we happen to think the upcoming election provides a clear choice on this front.

Anyway, to view the data for yourself click the link below …

BLOOMBERG CONSUMER COMFORT INDEX (.pdf)

(Banner image via iStock)

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