Article Index
Consumer Confidence

I have written over and over again on how distorted the U.S. business sales and inventory figures are. Manufacturers are stockpiling products. Retailers are experiencing a decline in sales. Consumer spending is getting softer. But it’s more than just retail that is becoming a drag on the U.S.…

In the month of July, the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index declined nine percent from May. The index stood at 99.9 in June and plunged to 90.9 in July—the lowest level since September of 2014! A sub-index of this confidence index, called the Expectation Index, which measures how…

U.S. consumer confidence jumped up to a five-month high in June, signaling the U.S. economy is picking up momentum. The University of Michigan released its final results on consumer confidence for June 2015. The Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 96.1 in June, a six percent increase compared to…

Consumer confidence in the U.S. fell to a six-month low in May as Americans became less sanguine about the prospects for the economy. The University of Michigan reported on Friday May 29, 2015 that its final index of sentiment for the month decreased -5.4% to 90.7 from 95.9…

I am not surprised that the retail sales remained unchanged in April. Although warmer weather is upon us, the April retail sales data did not warm up the way the industry would have liked. Retail Sales and Consumer Confidence Fading After barely growing in the first three months…

It’s widely expected that at the end of this month, the Federal Reserve will end its third round of quantitative easing (that began in September of 2012). This is QE3, where the Federal Reserve was printing $85.0 billion of new money every month and using it to buy…

In the first quarter of 2014, Retail Metrics, a retail industry research firm, found U.S. retailers missed their corporate earnings estimates by the most since the year 2000! As I have been writing, consumer spending only increases when consumer confidence is rising. Unfortunately, in the U.S. economy today,…

All of a sudden, auto sales are declining… Auto sales in the U.S. economy declined to an annual rate of 15.4 million units in December. In November, this number stood at 16.41 million units—a decline of more than six percent. (Source: Motor Intelligence, January 3, 2014.) Analysts were…

While 2013 will go down as the banner year for the S&P 500 and other key stock indices no one expected, the number of warning signs about this overpriced and overbought stock market has only increased. And my readers need to know about them… Trading volume, which is the…

Something very interesting happened yesterday. The Federal Reserve said it would start “tapering” its quantitative easing program by $10.0 billion a month. In other words, the Fed will now print $75.0 trillion a month in new money instead of $85.0 trillion a month. Firstly, the whole concept of…

What the Federal Reserve is doing in the U.S.—its effort to get the economy going via its money printing program—has already been tried by the second-largest economy in the world: Japan. Unfortunately, the easy monetary policy implemented by the Bank of Japan didn’t spur the Japanese economy. So…

This morning we learned sales for this year’s Black Friday weekend declined for the first time since 2009. I have been warning my readers for months that falling consumer confidence would result in a pullback in consumer spending—and that’s exactly what’s happening this holiday shopping season. According to…

The news headlines are saying the U.S. housing market is witnessing robust growth and flipping homes for profit is back. While many are now saying there is growth in the U.S. housing market and that it will continue, I disagree with them, based on many different factors…all of…

Can it be true? The U.S. Department of the Treasury has reported that for the federal government’s fiscal 2013 year, which ended on September 30, 2013, the U.S. government budget deficit was $680 billion—the smallest budget deficit in five years. (Source: Bureau of the Fiscal Service, October 30,…

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decided this week to keep quantitative easing and easy monetary policy going. The statement by the Federal Reserve said, “To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that a highly accommodative stance of monetary…

According to the just-released annual Wells Fargo & Company Middle Class Retirement Study, about 60% of middle-class Americans say that getting monthly bills paid is their top concern. This number stood at 52% in the 2012 study. (Source: Wells Fargo & Company, October 23, 2013.) But there are…

More evidence consumer confidence in the U.S. economy is plunging… The monthly Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, a consumer confidence indicator that shows the expectations of Americans about the U.S. economy, plunged to its lowest level in October since November of 2011. The index stood at -31 in October,…

These days, central banks are on a very dangerous monetary policy path. Paper money printing has become the norm. Major central banks around the world are taking the same actions; they have learned the phrase “quantitative easing” well. Economy’s soft; no problem! We’ll just print more money so…