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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another Consumer Confidence Index Rockets Higher

The Conference Board's closely watched index on US Consumer confidence rocketed higher in the board's April reading released yesterday...  For those of us following the more dynamic Rausmussen Index, the report came as no surprise...

The huge jump in the CB index follows the University of Michigan Index which also bounced up a few days ago... (charts for both)

The April gains were fueled by "a significant improvement in the short-term outlook," said Lynn Franco, director at the Conference Board Consumer Research Center.

The Conference Board "Present Situation Index" was also up to 23.7 from 21.9 last month.

But the perhaps the biggest news:  The Expectations Index Exploded to 49.5 from 30.2 in March.  The Conference Board which rarely uses superlatives, described this move up as "substantial."  The expectation index is a sub-index that measures consumer's confidence concerning: 

1) Their expected business conditions in the next six months

2) Their expected employment condition in the next six months

3) Their own total family income in the next six months.

With consumers signalling more and more willingness to spend, evidence continues to mount that a return to GDP growth by summer is now not just possible, but probable.  You may recall that level-headed prediction given by a professor from Kansas back in November...


  1. Any concern with the GDP being -6.1% first quarter '09?

  2. Anonymous,

    The GDP announcement is pretty much in line with what was expected. The good news in the details of the report was a much strong consumer spending number than what anyone expected. That will likely translate to much better GDP growth in Q2 (the current Quarter). Stronger spending in Q1 than expected, combined with surging consumer confidence about the future are all very encouraging signs.

  3. GNE,

    Can we go so far as to say that since Q4 2008 GDP decline was 6.5% and Q1 2009 decline was 6.1%, that we are actually seeing an improvement?

  4. So that means we will still be on track to end the recession either 2nd Quarter or 3rd Quarter of this year?

  5. I still maintain that Professor Hirschey's statement that a return to growth by Independence Day 2009 is a good bet.


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