Not a Bond martini, consumer confidence. Contrary to the cheery pronouncements of Federal officials, the Obama administration and the ever more ridiculously sycophantic major media, consumers are feeling less secure in the notion that the economy is recovering.
The New York-based Conference Board, a private research group, said that its Consumer Confidence Index dipped to 53.1 in September, down from the revised 54.5 reading in August. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected a reading of 57.
The index — fueled by signs that the economy might be stabilizing — had enjoyed a three-month climb since hitting a historic low in February of 25.3 but has been bumpy since June as rising unemployment has caught up with shoppers.
A reading above 90 means the economy is on solid footing. Above 100 signals strong growth.
Economists watch consumer sentiment because spending on goods and services for consumers, including housing and health care, accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity by federal measures.
The Conference Board’s Present Situation Index, which measures consumers’ current assessment of the economy, declined to 22.7 from 25.4. The Expectations Index, which measures consumers’ outlook over the next six months, dipped to 73.3 from 73.8 last month.
“While not as pessimistic as earlier this year, consumers remain quite apprehensive about the short-term outlook and their incomes,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. “With the holiday season quickly approaching, this is not very encouraging news.”
Actually, I’m guessing that it is disastrous news just as we are beginning to enter the Christmas shopping season. The “everything’s coming up roses” routine is not stirring consumer confidence. Nor are the increasingly strained attempts to spin horrific job losses and unemployment numbers week after week by the media.
As a matter of fact, I suspect that the increasingly silly attempts at claiming things are looking up in the face of the evidence people can see right in front of their own eyes is making people more nervous. Because if the media is spinning this hard over indefensible numbers, what are they hiding? Or who are they kidding?
There are things coming that are going to make things worse. A commercial credit crisis and huge numbers of ARMs due to reset just to name two.
Brace for impact, folks.