Saturday, March 31, 2012

USA Consumer Confidence Dips on Dampened Short-Term Outlook

The Conference Board: Consumer Confidence Index

USA Consumer Confidence The March 2012 Consumer Confidence Index dipped -1.4 to 70.2 (preliminary), still relatively positive. The post-recession high has been 72.0 in February 2011. This reading is well above the dismal October reading of 40.9, which was a 30-month low, the lowest since April 2009. Compared to the Pre-Great Recession peak of 111.9 in July 2007 consumer confidence continues at historically low levels regardless of the monthly ups and downs. Says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, "Consumer Confidence pulled back slightly in March, after rising sharply in February. The moderate decline was due solely to a less favorable short-term outlook, while consumers’ assessment of current conditions, on the other hand, continued to improve."

Consumer Confidence Index by Month The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) reached a Post-Great Recession peak of 72.0 in February 2011. The Great Recession cyclical low was 25.3 in February 2009. The Pre-Great Recession peak was 111.9 in July 2007.

Consumer Confidence Index by Year For each year, the related months are averaged. The Great Recession low was in 2009 at a 45.2 average and the Post-Great Recession peak has been 2011 at a 58.2 average, which is a 4-year high. For the 3 months ended March 2012, consumer confidence is at a 5-year high of 67.8.

Monday, March 26, 2012

USA Consumer Sentiment Dips on Rising Gasoline Prices

USA Consumer Sentiment: Thomson Reuters / University of Michigan

Index of Consumer Sentiment The Reuters / University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment in February 2012 dipped -1.0 to 74.3, which continues above the 2011 average of 67.4. The Index has increased 6 of the past 7 months and continues well above the dismal August low of 55.7, which was the lowest since the Great Recession low of 55.3 in November 2008 (and was also at 1980 recession levels). Consumers are not so gloomy, but sentiment continues at historically low levels. The USA federal government will need to continue more Bread and Circuses Policies to hold the gains and further increase fickle consumer sentiment. The index averaged 89 in the five years leading up to the Great Recession, that began Q3 2008 and ended in Q2 2009.

Consumer Sentiment Index by Month The Index of Consumer Sentiment dipped in March 2012 to 74.3. The post-recession high has been 77.5 in February 2011. The post-recession low has been 55.7 in August 2011.

Consumer Sentiment Index by Year The Index of Consumer Sentiment averaged 67.4 in 2011. The 2012 average consumer sentiment of 74.9 will smooth out as the year progresses and more months are added. The Great Recession cyclical low was 63.8 in 2008. The post-recession full-year peak has been 71.8 in 2010.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

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