Besides Which, You See, We Have Confidence In We!
If the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index gets any higher, we're going to have to rename it the Consumer Cockiness Index.
[Pause for laughter]
But seriously, folks, consumers are so confident...
How confident are they?
Well... they're more confident than they've been since spring of 2002.
"This month's gain in Consumer Confidence has pushed the Index to a near four-year high," says [Consumer Research Center Director Lynn Franco]. "The improvement in consumers' assessment of present-day conditions is yet another sign that the economy gained steam in early 2006. Consumer expectations, while improved, remain subdued and still suggest a cooling in activity in the latter half of this year."
Other key findings from the study that bear no earthly resemblance to the economic picture (nor to the popular perception of the economic picture) portrayed in the media:
- Those claiming conditions are "bad" declined to 14.7 percent from 15.4 percent
- Consumers expecting business conditions to worsen decreased to 9.9 percent from 10.9 percent
- Those expecting fewer jobs to become available in the coming months decreased to 16.6 percent from 19.9 percent in February
By several different measures then, only a tiny minority among the population (fewer in number than the Moon-landing-was-faked conspiracy theorists) finds the economy to be on the wrong course. The rest expect either status quo (read: Goldilocks) or improvement (read: gangbusters) going forward.
If it is the economy, stupid, then maybe the Dems ought to just sit out this November's election. Consumer spending accounts for 2/3 of the U.S. economy, meaning we're likely to see more strong numbers put up in the two quarters of economic activity remaining before election day.
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Handcrafted by Flip on March 28, 2006 |
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