Friday, December 30, 2011

Consumer Confidence Surveys – As Of 12-30-11

In yesterday’s post ("4 Confidence Charts – December 2011") I displayed four charts indicating various long-term consumer and small business confidence readings as compared to the S&P500.

Doug Short had a blog post of December 27 (“Consumer Confidence at an Eight-Month High") in which he presents the Conference Board and University of Michigan charts in a different fashion.  They are presented below:

(click on charts to enlarge images)


There are a few aspects of the above charts that I find highly noteworthy.  Of course, the continuing very subdued absolute levels of these two surveys is disconcerting.

Also, I find the “behavior” of these readings to be quite disparate as compared to the other post-recession periods, as shown in the charts between the gray shaded areas (the gray areas denote recessions as defined by the NBER.)

While I don’t believe that confidence surveys should be overemphasized, I find these readings to be very problematical, especially in light of a variety of other highly disconcerting measures highlighted in this blog.

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 1263.02 as this post is written

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