Today’s reports on the U.S. economy were seen as relative positives mainly because retail sales reported up for July. Econoday had this take on retail sales:
Major gains sweep the retail sales report for July, a month that benefited from an easy comparison with a very weak June. Total retail sales rose 0.8 percent for [...]
Despite recent polls that show confidence is at a seven-month high, I get the feeling that many Americans are actually worried about their future. When I say most Americans I am talking about solid middle-class folks who are earning median or above-median incomes. Gallup showed in a recent poll that the people’s top concerns were still, [...]
Black Friday sales and spending were up a very robust 6.6% over last year. But it doesn’t represent an economic recovery or a sustainable trend.
With consumer sentiment about the economy mostly negative1, with employee wages and earnings falling, one would expect a mediocre, if not negative, shopping report. But regardless of the gloom sales [...]
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index for the week reflects an America depressed about the future of the country:
U.S. Consumers Are Most Pessimistic on Economy Since Recession
Consumer confidence declined last week to its lowest level since the depths of the recession in the first quarter of 2009.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell to minus 53.2 in the [...]
The Gallup/Wells Fargo surveys of small business reveals that they are unsure of the future and that government regulations weigh heavily on them.
According to the report:
There were two negative consumer confidence reports today.
The Conference Board’s June report shows that their Index dropped almost 3 points this month, and since April, almost 7 points. People can watch and hear the news, monitor their own situation and their neighbors’ and friend’s, and conclude that things aren’t getting better. Who knows, they [...]
This is the time of the month when the consumer surveys come out measuring confidence in the economy’s future. There are three large surveys: Conference Board, Gallup, and the University of Michigan. They all try to measure our belief as to the future, and specifically whether or not we feel like spending our money. Today Gallup and [...]
Is manufacturing leading us to a recovery?
The requirements usually associated with a recovery stemming from a rise in manufacturing are lacking in the present situation.
The classic analysis of a business cycle says that lower interest rates as a result of increased savings will stimulate borrowing by manufacturers of capital goods to produce goods [...]
The Christmas holiday shopping reports through December 25 were up for the season as compared to last year. So what. Does that mean economic recovery? I think not.
The Spending Data
Here is what Christmas spending looked like:
Bank credit and liquidity is something I follow closely because it is a key to economic revival.
Presently banks have been more aggressive in cleaning up their loan books which has required them to recognize troubled loans and reserve more for loan losses. Part of the trend is that bank regulators have been stricter with [...]