Friday, January 31, 2014

Consumer Confidence Surveys – As Of January 31, 2014

Doug Short had a blog post of January 31 (“Michigan Consumer Sentiment:  Little Changed“) in which he presents the latest Conference Board Consumer Confidence and Thomson/Reuters University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index charts.  They are presented below:
(click on charts to enlarge images)
Dshort 1-31-14 - Conference-Board-consumer-confidence-index
Dshort 1-31-14 - Michigan-consumer-sentiment-index
There are a few aspects of the above charts that I find highly noteworthy.  Of course, the continuing 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 throughout this blog.
The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 1785.26 as this post is written

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