ENCOURAGING CONSUMER DATA … BUT IS IT SUSTAINABLE?
There are some flashing red warning lights going off right now as it relates to the American economy – which was basically left to die by the last two U.S. presidents (and the eight previous U.S. Congresses).
Things are “touch and go,” people. Dicey.
Can president Donald Trump flip the script? That remains to be seen … but it’s clear at this point his election has at the very least injected some long-overdue optimism into the American consumer (which has in turn led to some measurable improvements in consumer spending).
Is this mini-uptick sustainable? Who knows. That’s the multi-trillion dollar question …
If Trump can hit his ambitious economic targets, a lot of America’s other problems will go away. If he can’t hit those targets (or if members of his own party block him from implementing his pro-growth proposals), things could get ugly. And fast.
For now, though there is (more) good news … specifically as it relates to consumer spending.
According to Gallup, Americans’ daily spending average increased to $101 during the month of February.
“This is the highest average for the month of February since 2008, when spending averaged $106,” Gallup’s Justin McCarthy noted. “The latest monthly average is up $13 from January’s figure, but still lower than December’s holiday-influenced $105.”
For those of you visually inclined, here’s how all of those words and numbers appear when plotted on a chart …
(Click to view)
“It took eight years for Americans’ spending to return to this pre-crisis level, as consumers’ ‘new normal’ aversion to spending took hold after the recession and ensuing periods of high unemployment,” McCarthy added. “Their hesitancy began to ease in recent years, and average daily spending once again reached the $100 mark in July 2016. Spending rose to a nine-year high in December and returned to a triple-digit average again in February after a predictable seasonal drop in January.”
Again, though … can it hold?
It is difficult to overstate the extent to which former U.S. presidents George W. Bush and (especially) Barack Obama pooch-screwed the American economy. Or the extent to which fiscally liberal legislative leaders like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan have poured gasoline on the dumpster fire.
It’s been a disaster … and no matter which party was in charge, the answer to the question of how to improve the economy was always to spend more money American taxpayers didn’t have.
In addition to this unrestrained deficit spending, these “leaders” supported crony capitalist trade deals, the perpetual incentivizing of dependency, wide open borders, incessant global warmongering, ill-conceived money-printing, socialized medicine and draconian overregulation.
Seriously … it’s a miracle the American economy is still standing, let alone limping along at an anemic rate of growth.
Again, we’re not convinced things will turn around (or that they are even capable of being turned around). The hole is that deep. And the headwinds created by our nation’s prolonged descent into globalist, socialist, politically correct madness are that strong.
But Trump – to his credit – is at least trying. And Americans – whether they like him or not (or whether they voted for him or not) – are voting with their wallets.
For the sake of all of us, let’s hope that keeps up …
Banner via The White House