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Showing posts with the label consumer confidence

Americans Think the Economic Chalice is More than Half Full

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As Americans we can be a skeptical crew about a whole lot of stuff. One thing we seem to feel good about is future opportunities. According to a recent Gallop Poll 28% think the economy is good, 28% think it is poor, 51% believe it is getting better and 45% feel that it is getting worse ( 1 ). For seven straight weeks the consumer economic beliefs have been in the positive providing good news to those who feel the economic chalice is over half full. The numbers may depend on who you are, your income and education level, as well as your personal disposition in life. Those who are in fast growing industries who are finding their job prospects and income rising may feel more optimistic than those who are negatively affected by shifting economic activity. If your in the wrong occupation and see your prospects dwindling there isn't much to look forward to as a growing economy isn't going to directly benefit you. The same can be said with those who have not either learned a ski

Consumer Spending Rebounds Over the Holidays

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Consumers are all smiles as they open their checkbooks and walk into the stores in search of great deals for the holidays. After stretching Black Friday beyond its traditional one day bonanza they have shocked us again with their spending vibrancy.   According to a report by the U.S. Census Bureau retail and food service sales improved 7% beyond last month and 5.1% when compared to last year. The numbers took into account seasonal differences, holiday sales and trading-day differences. Consumers are buying more because they feel optimistic about the economy and their living costs are declining on a number of fronts thereby leaving them more discretionary income.  The extra money didn't  sit around long and got swept up into the latest deals and products that improved higher retail and food buying rates. Dining and shopping have made a comeback. Consumer spending is one facet of a stronger economy. To have a fuller recovery it is necessary to improve manufacturing and e

Confidence in the Economy Grows as Holidays Near

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The holiday season is nearly upon us and people are a little more optimistic about the economy then they were just a few months ago. People are slowly starting to feel good about their future prospects and the potential for their incomes. According to the Gallop Poll a -6 is a significant improvement over the -20’s experienced throughout the year.  Economic confidence is a beneficial metric but isn’t a very conclusive one. Much of economic confidence is based in how people perceive the environment and their opportunities within it. New reports and the general impressions of reports does have an impact on economic impression (Barsky & Sims, 2012). Some have called positive economic beliefs part of our animal spirits.  Animal spirits are more psychological images and impressions than objective data. If you buy more on days when you feel good than on days you don’t then this is your animal spirits coming to play. What we read and how we read the environment will natural

Improving Consumer Confidence and 3.5% GDP Comes with a Warning

The economy took a jump from July to September as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) calculations rose 3.5%. This is great news for those hoping to finish off the last of the recession and move onto more prosperous times. This improvement is the largest in a single quarter since 2003 and parallels higher levels of consumer enthusiasm. Positive news also comes with a warning to redirect focus to balancing budgets, encouraging long-term economic growth, and reducing income disparity.   To add to this positive news the University of Michigan’s consumer confidence index also jumped to 86.9 in October when compared to 84.6 in September.   With GDP expanding and consumer confidence rising few can argue that the world’s super power isn’t regaining economic ground.  Measuring economic growth often rests on imperfect numbers such as GDP that can create improper assumptions among decision-makers. GDP is seen as the total market value of the goods and services produced by a nation over a c

GDP Rises and Consumer Confidence Recovers

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released optimistic data showing a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increase of 4.2% in the output of goods and services. The new numbers are a windfall compared to the previous 2.1% decline in the first quarter of 2014. The new release of information uses more accurate numbers than previous measurements which help the business community make investment decisions. The new numbers show an increase in nonresidential fixed investments with smaller numbers in private inventory investment. Other factors influencing the higher numbers were exports, personal consumption expenditures, local government spending, and residential fixed investments. Confidence in the economy may be encouraging purchasing behaviors, state spending, and business investments. Consumer confidence and consumer spending are associated in economic theory (Ludvigson, 2004). As consumers become more confident about their employment prospects and ability to earn a living wage they wi