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Category Archives: Consumer Confidence

Consumer Confidence Peak

Consumer confidence from The Conference Board shows the U.S. consumer “roared back” in August.  Here’s a chart that will help with the next few points…. Consumer confidence is the highest its been in years — but still below the long term mean. The last time it was higher was …. October 2007 (previous major crash initiation point). A high consumer confidence reading combined with […] Read the rest of this entry »

Personal Income: pre-recession level

Q4 personal income dropped very nearly to zero. Consumers -in typical fashion- kept spending though. Based on the data since WWII, the U.S. economy is probably going to fall into recession at some point in Q2.  Many of you will be familiar with the Chicago Fed CFNAI data I post every month. That data suggests the economy experienced a 1-quarter contraction in Q2 2012, […] Read the rest of this entry »

Greedometer Newsletter summary: August 29 2012

  The Bank of England released a report regarding its quantitative easing efforts. In summary, it says the top 5% of households (measured by wealth) benefitted heavily from QE, but it suggests the rest of the population didn’t. If The Bank of England’s QE effort is supposed to help their economy, it is failing.  Is there any reason to expect the Fed’s QE to […] Read the rest of this entry »

Short Economic Stories Jan 21 2012

Big Picture: Warning: The mini greedometer (tactical risk indicator) is displaying readings previously only seen when the S&P500 was within 5% of a secular (long term) top. The greedometer (strategic risk indicator) is approaching dangerous risk levels as well. There is very little upside and a great deal of downside to risk assets (stocks, junk bonds, commodities, REITs) at this time. A much more […] Read the rest of this entry »

Short Economic Stories: US

The latest consumer confidence and small business confidence readings continue a steady increase since summer. The latest readings have risen almost all the way to the average level seen in recessions.  Outstanding!  Last week had an update on consumer credit. As has been the case for most of 2011, the headline reads ” Consumer credit expanded $7.7B in October”. OK, read a little further. All of that […] Read the rest of this entry »

Short Economic Stories: US

Consumer sentiment rose to the highest it has been in 5 months. Last week saw consumer sentiment rise to 64.2. This is a nice bounce from the 55.7 in August. But consumer sentiment is considerably below where it was earlier this year (77.5 in February). More importantly, the long term average is 86. So the recent improvement in consumer sentiment is a rise from depression-like levels to recession […] Read the rest of this entry »

Weekly Short Economic Stories

ECRI ‘s WLI indicator dropped to -10.1  two  weeks ago, and -10.0 last week. The WLI fell this low in February 2008 — 3 months into the Great Recession.  The odds are building that January 2012 will be the first month the US falls back into recession (but it could be December 2011).  Granted, a year ago I forecast 4Q 2011 would see a […] Read the rest of this entry »

Short Economic Stories: US

It is remarkable how October 2011 resembles October & November 2008. Consumer sentiment, retail sales, GDP, ECRI WLI, Federal Reserve data — all look like they did immediately prior to December 2008 — the first month of the previous recession. US Consumers: Retail sales figures were adjusted upwards for the 3rd quarter but a closer look at the data leaves me scratching my head […] Read the rest of this entry »

Weekly Short Economic Stories

Last week: the US stock market was plumbing 2011 lows and flirting with a bear market entry point (20% loss) — where most of the rest of the world’s stock markets already are (we were re-testing our peak for the year — in the +4-5% range).  By the way, the same level in the S&P500 was seen: December 2009, September 2008, September 2004, September […] Read the rest of this entry »

Weekly Short Economic Stories

Yesterday saw the August consumer confidence report from The Conference Board.  Ouch!  It dropped to the lowest level since April 2009. Unless there’s a massive disconnect, we’re likely to see a very weak ISM (US manufacturing) report on Thursday, and an equally bad August employment report on Friday.  All else being equal, this will put downward pressure on stocks, and upward pressure on high […] Read the rest of this entry »