Confidence Off a Cliff

Posted by Dave Fratello on Wednesday, April 30th, 2008 at 9:16pm.

This morning's LA Times lays bare the shocking decline in consumer confidence since last Summer with this novel graphic. (Click to enlarge, or pick up your copy's front page.)

Is there a relationship between consumer confidence and home-buying? Of course.

If you prefer a longer view, the second graph (courtesy of Market Harmonics) shows about 9 years' worth of data from the same source (Conference Board), though it is missing the newest figure.

Finally, a separate consumer survey released by the University of Michigan last week showed confidence at its lowest level in 26 years.

Also today, the U.S. economy grew by just 0.6% in Q1 – hey, maybe it's not a recession! – while inflation crept up and the Fed cut again.

There's more to say but let's hit all of that another day.

For the time being, take a look at the LAT article that accompanied the graphic (see "Shaken Consumers Clamp Wallets Shut"), which somehow prophesies the imminent end of American consumers' love affair with credit-fueled living, even though every such prior prediction has proved incorrect.
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