Last week, I posted about the apparent disconnect between consumer confidence and businesses’ attitudes towards this economic recovery. Well, here we go again; the Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey results reported for October, and the U.S. consumer just seems to be getting more and more positive…practically cheery by some standards. The October data came in at 83.1, which was up from last month’s reading of 78.3. To put that in context, that’s the highest this measure has been since September of 2007.
So disregarding the improvement in the unemployment figures (which Jack Welch maintains were rigged anyway), today’s release still paints a somewhat brighter picture…at least on that side of the ledger. Businesses seem to be worried about the impact of the fiscal cliff and some surveys suggest they are delaying hiring and investment because of it. But, next week we’ll see some releases that might shed light on whether that is continuing. On Monday, September’s advance retail sales numbers and August’s business inventories will be released. Tuesday will see September’s industrial production and capacity utilization numbers, which dropped by 1.26% last month.
So stay tuned and maybe we’ll see more positive news next week.