Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Diverging Confidence Reports, But Favorable Employment Environment

Two reports on consumer confidence were reported last week with The Conference Board's report early in the week. Continued strength was evident in the Conference Board's report with the reading coming in at a near record high for this expansion of 135.1. The reading exceeded the high end of the expectations range of 133. Then at the end of the week, the University of Michigan report on consumer sentiment was reported at 89.8 and came in lower than the low end of the expectation range of 92.0. This data is an another mixed data point on the economy that I touched on late last month.

An important component in the Conference Board's report centers on the job market. In this latest report the 'jobs hard to find' declined to 11.8% and the 'jobs plentiful' measure increased to 51.2%. In other words the jobs component of this report was certainly favorable. One would expect this to have a favorable reflection in the report on Jobless Claims tomorrow and Friday's Employment Situation report.

Econoday noted after both sentiment reports were issued, "...given acceleration in consumer spending and strong demand for labor suggests that the likely state of the consumer's mood probably lies somewhere between and remains, at the worst, solid to moderately strong. With consumers accounting for 70% of economic growth, this is certainly a positive data point. The consumer might be in a good enough position to counter the manufacturing slowdown.

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