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.
Posts tagged ‘economy’
Remember today everyone. Today’s the day that the unemployment rate fell below 8.0% in the United States. At 7.8%, this is the lowest unemployment rate since January of 2009. Don’t get me wrong, the economy has still got a long way to go, but you’ve got to admit that it feels good to see that number tick down. And the best part is…the unemployment percentage dropped not because people were giving up the search and dropping out, but because they were getting hired.
Here’s what it looked like according to the data release from the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics (you can read their full report here). There was in increase in total nonfarm payroll employment during September of 114,000, while the unemployment rate notched down from 8.1% to 7.8%. This is based on the so-called Household Survey, where the BLS calls around to about 60,000 households every month to find out if people have been working, have been looking for work, or aren’t working.
There’s been quite a bit of talk about consumer confidence recently. Just today, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey of U.S. consumer confidence showed a move from 74.3 in August to 78.3 in September. Earlier in the week, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index posted at 70.3, up from August’s reading of 61.3. Surveys like these are seen as leading indicators for economic conditions. It’s sort of a demand-driven idea; the more positive consumers are about the economic prospects of the country, the more willing they will be to spend money on appliances, cars, houses, you name it. So, positive sentiment can presage an economic expansion. But what does that positive economic growth give back to consumers?