Consumer confidence way down

Posted by: FSM

Consumer confidence way down - 03/25/08 08:34 PM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>Consumer confidence numbers released Tuesday were down sharply. The Conference Board reports that Americans expectations for the future fell to a 35-year low. People in three cities across the country explain how personal the economic downturn is for them.<p><hr></blockquote><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89064859&ft=1&f=1001">All Things Considered (audio)</a><br><br>consumer confidence is way, way down. home prices are falling. the outlook on our future is lower than it's been for nearly my whole life. that's pretty incredible stuff. why does it seem like such ho-hum news? is it because the political stuff is just much more entertaining? que pasa?<br><br>
Posted by: newkojak

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/25/08 09:08 PM

It is probably a function of how poor economics reporting is and how out of touch it is with regular people. An X% rise in productivity and 400 more points on the Dow don't matter to someone whose company just cut vacation time and laid off the second shift to increase its stock value. If everyone in the nation making less than median income got a 5% raise tomorrow, the stock market would likely suffer, but the economy would improve for half the nation. But given the losses on the market, it would be reported as a bad day for the United States economy.<br><br><br>-- Cee Bee Double-U
Posted by: Llewelyn

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/26/08 10:29 AM

Hot prostitute vs people aren't very confident? Which one gets the ratings? or is that a redundant question?<br><br>I used to think it was terrible that life was unfair. Then I thought what if life were fair and all of the terrible things that happen came because we really deserved them? Now I take comfort in the general unfairness and hostility of the universe.
Posted by: DLC

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/26/08 12:12 PM

Man 41% are going to pay off bills.... only 21% are going to spend it on something new.... 32% save or invest.<br><br>And the 21% will probably buy a big ticket item from China!!!<br><br>whoa... that helps the AMERICAN jobs and OUR economy a lot.<br><br>David (OFI)
Posted by: eckhard

that's so true!! - 03/26/08 01:26 PM

<br>[color:blue]If everyone in the nation making less than median income got a 5% raise tomorrow, the stock market would likely suffer, but the economy would improve for half the nation.</font color=blue><br><br>And right there is where our current stock market controlled form of capitalism is truly evil.<br>Those who can invest, will demand that those, who can't lose their jobs to far away lands and cheaper wages. <br>Companies, which in this way manage to keep costs down, are receiving millions from happy investments, who don't seem to care that they are in fact forcing their own neighbors into poverty. <br>The difference between rich and poor grows by leaps and bounds. On the national as well as international level.<br><br>Time for a massive paradigm shift.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
Posted by: electricron

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/26/08 05:56 PM

Whether consumer confidence is down or not I can't tell.<br><br>But, I strongly believe consumer confidence follows what the press is spouting.<br><br>Stock market goes down because of speculators' panic, the press reports we're in a bear market. Stock market goes up because of speculators, the press reports we're in a bull market.<br><br>The Stock Market is a poor device or report card to judge the state of an economy. Instead, I suggest looking at the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).<br><br>GDP in the last two years: (In Billions of $)<br>2006 <br>I 12,964.6 <br>II 13,155.0 <br>III 13,266.9 <br>IV 13,392.3 <br>2007 <br>I 13,551.9 <br>II 13,768.8 <br>III 13,970.5 <br>IV 14,084.1<br><br>Personal consumption expenditures during the last two years: (In Billions of $)<br>2006<br>I 9,034.7<br>II 9,183.9<br>III 9,305.7<br>IV 9,373.7<br>2007<br>I 9,540.5<br>II 9,674.0<br>III 9,785.7<br>IV 9,930.7<br><br>It's a little too early to see any reports for the first quarter of 2008.<br>Never-the-less, I think the trend is plainly obvious, climbing higher and higher.<br><br>You can even break these numbers down to per month if you desire at<br>http://www.bea.gov/national/nipaweb/Tabl...07&Freq=Qtr<br><br>If you checked the DJIA over two years, you'd find:<br><br><br><br>Compared to what we, the American people, are spending, the DJIA is riding a roller coaster! <br><br> <br> <br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
Posted by: DLC

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/26/08 06:41 PM

Question:<br>Personal consumption went up 5% for each of the past 2 years, $-wise.<br><br>(1) How much was just due to inflation, and <br>(2) how much of that was borrowed (i.e. inflated) ?<br><br>I think the consumer debts are coming home (pardon pun) to roost.<br>The stimulus will do little to effect the short term economy... most will pay off existing debts... 34% said they'd save... so only 1/5th will spend it and much of that injection will go to foreign countries .... and few to US jobs and bread winners.<br><br>David (OFI)
Posted by: electricron

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/27/08 05:14 PM

I haven't the foggiest idea what inflation was the last two years.<br>Let's look it up.<br>Consumer Price Index numbers:<br>All items, 2005 to 2006, 3.2%<br>All items, 2006 to 2007, 2.8 %<br><br>Therefore, over two years, 6%.<br>GDP over two years increased 8.6%.<br>Some math, 14,084 / 12,964 = 1.086393<br><br>Another number that bears watching, the Personal Income and Outlays.<br><br>Personal income increased 6.1 percent in 2007 (that is, from the 2006 annual level to the 2007 annual level), compared with an increase of 6.6 percent in 2006. Personal outlays increased 5.5 percent in 2007, compared with an increase of 5.9 percent in 2006. <br><br>Taking account for the falling dollar, Real personal income increased 3.0 percent in 2007, compared with an increase of 3.1 percent in 2006.<br>Real personal expenditures increased 2.9 percent, compared with an increase of 3.1 percent in 2006.<br><br>The numbers still look good. <br><br>And I repeat, the stock market is a poor judge of the economy. For example, just look at Apple's stock and its recent roller coaster slide.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Posted by: newkojak

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/27/08 05:42 PM

Hey Ron, I don't mean to nitpick too much and it doesn't make a huge difference, but inflation is compounded so you cannot just add the percentages.<br><br>These numbers don't mean all that much though if job creation is poor. In fact, real inflation-adjusted wages have not budged much for a long long time and it is going to take a lot of work to get most of our wage increases from getting gobbled up in energy and health care costs.<br><br>Our economy is hamstrung by a lot of issues that need to be moderated before we can say that things are good.<br><br>-- Cee Bee Double-U
Posted by: electricron

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/27/08 05:56 PM

I've haven't been posting really good numbers, and I'm not suggesting that the economy is getting much better. Expenses have been rising with Income almost neck to neck. But likewise, the numbers don't suggest we're in a recession either. I would agree the economy pretty much stagnate. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing, considering the war in Iraq.<br><br>But I will repeat once again, which was the major thrust of my replies, the stock market is a poor judge of the state of the economy.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
Posted by: newkojak

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/27/08 05:59 PM

In that we totally agree and I feel like I'm in some sharp company. <br><br>-- Cee Bee Double-U
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/27/08 06:00 PM

Well, but just looking at the stock market chart, the drop begins in the last quarter of 2007, and I assume that the effect on income and so on would lag the market downturn . . . by six months, I think I remember hearing somewhere or other? [Sorry for the question mark. I feel a little valley-ish tonight.]<br><br>[color:red]&#63743;</font color=red> [color:orange]&#63743;</font color=orange> [color:yellow]&#63743;</font color=yellow> [color:green]&#63743;</font color=green> [color:blue]&#63743;</font color=blue> [color:purple]&#63743;</font color=purple>
Posted by: newkojak

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/27/08 06:00 PM

On the other hand, the stock market is supposed to be forward-looking. Is that irony?<br><br>-- Cee Bee Double-U
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/27/08 06:01 PM

That's why the income figures lag, right?<br><br>[color:red]&#63743;</font color=red> [color:orange]&#63743;</font color=orange> [color:yellow]&#63743;</font color=yellow> [color:green]&#63743;</font color=green> [color:blue]&#63743;</font color=blue> [color:purple]&#63743;</font color=purple>
Posted by: newkojak

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/27/08 06:03 PM

Yeah... I'm just making light of it all.<br><br>I'm in good spirits after all. I'm in a union job with guaranteed yearly raises and my Apple investment is finally back up to even ground. My economy is actually pretty good. I'm a mostly liquid renter in the public sector. That's just like everybody else right? <br><br>-- Cee Bee Double-U
Posted by: electricron

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/27/08 06:07 PM

If incomes figures lag by 6 or so months, if you believe such nonsense, our wages should be climbing higher for a few more months. Because the market hit it's peak just a few months ago (~October~).<br><br><br><br><br>
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/27/08 06:10 PM

I'm not particularly worried on personal grounds . . . at least not yet. But I do think that the whole US economy is a big old bubble, buoyed up by debt debt debt, not just personal either. I think we're all experiencing one result of that already, by the way. The more the Fed reduces interest rates to relieve the debt crisis, the more the dollar falls in relation to other currencies, and so the costlier gasoline priced in dollars becomes. We're up to 3.25 here, give or take a dime. And oil for heating . . . don't get me started on that.<br><br>[color:red]&#63743;</font color=red> [color:orange]&#63743;</font color=orange> [color:yellow]&#63743;</font color=yellow> [color:green]&#63743;</font color=green> [color:blue]&#63743;</font color=blue> [color:purple]&#63743;</font color=purple>
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/27/08 06:12 PM

I'm not arguing against the idea that there's a disconnect between the real world and the market. But I don't think your figures prove anything either.<br><br>[color:red]&#63743;</font color=red> [color:orange]&#63743;</font color=orange> [color:yellow]&#63743;</font color=yellow> [color:green]&#63743;</font color=green> [color:blue]&#63743;</font color=blue> [color:purple]&#63743;</font color=purple>
Posted by: electricron

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/27/08 06:16 PM

Those figures are used by the US government to judge the health of the US economy. How much faith you put into them or not I really don't care.<br><br>But those are the numbers the government, specifically the Department of Labor, uses.<br>http://www.bea.gov/index.htm<br><br><br><br>
Posted by: DLC

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/27/08 06:46 PM

..." the stock market is a poor judge of the economy. For example, just look at Apple's stock and its recent roller coaster slide."<br><br><br> NO argument about that Ron, it's a yoyo for speculators. <br><br>I think it can be on a macroscopic scale.... but only in hindsight.<br><br>David (OFI)
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/27/08 06:54 PM

I have no doubt that the initial set of numbers you posted are accurate. What I'm not at all sure about are the mathematics that follow those numbers, which strike me as quick and dirty computing, even ignoring the compounding issue that NK pointed out.<br><br><br>[color:red]&#63743;</font color=red> [color:orange]&#63743;</font color=orange> [color:yellow]&#63743;</font color=yellow> [color:green]&#63743;</font color=green> [color:blue]&#63743;</font color=blue> [color:purple]&#63743;</font color=purple>
Posted by: polymerase

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/27/08 07:21 PM

I would completely agree that the stock market is not a good barometer for the health of the economy. Those stocks like to mirror profits of corporations. Corporations make money and show profits when they have their employees working full tilt, every excess is fired. Theses businesses do much better when the public has money to spend which is also a good indicator of economic health but they do not mirror each other.<br><br>Disconcerting news is numbers which show inflation with a stalled economy = stagflation. Inflation without raises. That really blows. There are lots of indicators pointing to stagflation. Where the combo of higher prices and less value for the dollar in your pocket combine. <br><br>Housing bubble continues to lose air: one in ten. 10% of people holding a mortgage have a mortgage larger than the current selling price of the house. That is 10% of the consumers out there totally bummed out. And the price of that house may continue to fall all the way through 2008. Foreclosures are at record setting numbers. The mantra of "flip that house" finds a lot of people living in a house they did not like and cannot afford. <br><br>These mortgages just took down the biggest brokerage house in the nation, Bear and Stearns. Our tax payer dollars propped it up (thus weakening the dollar in your pocket even more). Where do we draw the line. Lehman Brothers ? Do they get bailed? Gee, Bank of America got burned last year, why don't we send them a care package of 40 billion dollars too?<br><br>The Feds taught everyone a lesson: If you are going to take risks and screw up make sure you screw up big time. <br><br>And you noted the Iraq War. Yes, siphon three trillion real dollars out of the economy and set it on fire in the desert of Iraq and that can be a bit of a drag on the economy. Think if we had spent that three trillion on mass transit beginning with trains. Those workers who laid track would eat pizza in the United States. That pizza house would pay salaries to American workers. Those workers would drink beer next door in an American bar. That money would have churned three or four times before it all ended up in China after paying for flat screens.<br><br>Instead we sent it directly to China as it paid for all of our government toys we have burned in Iraq using debt covered by the Chinese. <br><br>None of these things bode well for our economy getting out of this stagflation anytime soon. We have to weaken the dollar to five cents so all that paper China has in Treasury notes becomes worthless. Then we can start again.<br><br><br><br><br>
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/27/08 07:25 PM

Hey poly, I don't know if you watch the Lehrer News Hour, but I thought of you tonight when they had a piece on the Rev. Wright stuff. The three guests were an academic (natch), a bishop, and an ethicist whose perspective is rooted in Christian faith. The ethicist's major complaint? Wright believes in conspiracy theories. The irony was too good <br><br>[color:red]&#63743;</font color=red> [color:orange]&#63743;</font color=orange> [color:yellow]&#63743;</font color=yellow> [color:green]&#63743;</font color=green> [color:blue]&#63743;</font color=blue> [color:purple]&#63743;</font color=purple>
Posted by: polymerase

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/27/08 07:49 PM

That Christian ethicist also has to look carefully at Reverend Wright's "conspiracy theories". An NPR talking head was interviewing Andrew Young (who I admire) and the talking head was poo pooing the conspiracy theories of Wright's. Young came back with, "you have to understand that Ronald Reagan's arms for hostages which were converted to drugs which were sold in American ghettos is not a theory but a fact. Given that it is unsurprising that a preacher like Wright would point this out." (I am paraphrasing from a week old memory.)<br><br>Virtually all conspiracy theories are just craziness. But some have an underlying truth which causes people to believe them. What they are doing to Reverend Wright is really a shame. He does good passing along the good preachings of Jesus Christ. He gives people hope. But he says things that if not taken in the context of a church in the south side of Chicago can be turned against him.<br><br>It's pretty disgraceful. And if I was a Christian I would call it unchristian.<br><br><br><br><br>
Posted by: Inverted_Flag

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/28/08 02:48 PM

a 'cunsoomer' is a label given to people by a corporashun (usually mega)<br><br>now as for me and mine<br>we spend money many times a week in meetings<br>drink/eat/talk THINK.<br><br>http://www.browardatheists.com gotta put the 'www' cuz yahoo/apple servers are not jving?<br><br>http://youtube.com/watch?v=X-5xG8u7nQI<br><br>the "whatever" era, politi/big biz<br>screwed many a generation<br>now the second wave comes.<br><br>[color:green]Cleansed by the grassroots hardcore.</font color=green>
Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/28/08 11:05 PM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>Corporations make money and show profits when they have their employees working full tilt, every excess is fired. <p><hr></blockquote><p>I would agree with you about the stock market not always mirroring the health of the economy, but I'll disagree with you on your statement I quoted.<br><br>The economy would be much better off with a thousand lean companies with 100 employees, than it would be with 100 fat companies with 1000 employees. The employees of the smaller company will enjoy more frequent and larger raises. The employees of the smaller company will probably be treated more like a human being, and less like an employee number. Those employees will probably be a lot happier, more productive, and collectively whip the ass of the company 10x it's size. All of that feeds back into the economy. The large bloated corporation meanwhile barely gives it's workers cost of living increases, and does zero for the economy other than what's good for itself. Which, in your quote is purging itself to where it should have been all along. <br><br>What we need is to get rid of these dumbasses out of business school who think to staff up when busy then lay off when slow. No, no, no!!! Don't staff up to begin with. You're not creating jobs, you're really just jeopardizing jobs that shouldn't be jeopardized when things slow down. So instead of excess being fired, that excess should never show up on payroll to begin with.<br><br>Learn how to be more productive, and everyone will benefit. But then can we really blame those dumbasses, when the business schools they went to are so damn archaic?<br><br>When I hear company X is laying off 10,000 workers, I think less of "Oh, how horrible for those 10,000 people", but more along the lines of "How the hell was the management of company X stupid enough to bloat itself to 10,000 wokers it likely didn't need to begin with". The good people at least will make out, and probably end up better off. <br><br>I work in a shaky industry. The large bloated conglomerate corporations are struggling. Good! The smaller, leaner corporations like I work for use that to our advantage. We grew (business, not staff) over double, sometimes triple what the industry average was the last 5 years. Yeah, last year was a struggle, and this year will be too. But we'll weather it much better.<br><br>And FWIW, our small department regularly goes head to head against the others who have 10x the staff we do. Yet working full tilt I've yet to work a weekend in probably 3 years, and my workload is 10x what it was when I first started. "Full tilt" as you put it does not have to mean being a slave to the company. Work smarter, not harder.<br><br><br>Hey I'm an F'n Jerk!
Posted by: DLC

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/29/08 09:20 AM

Bill Maher last night:<br><br>Consumer Confidence is at it's worst in 16 years....<br><br>NO one is spending any $, they're afraid to !!<br><br>It's so bad that Gov Spitzer hasn't hired a hooker lately and has had to resort to having sex with his wife !! <br><br>David (OFI)
Posted by: Inverted_Flag

Re: Consumer confidence way down - 03/31/08 05:43 AM

who lied<br>who paid<br>who's educated, which have been left homeless...<br><br>get a graph of gdee etc. and measure it up to the years a "republican" was president.<br><br>better yet<br>try americanhardcore the docudrama<br><br>dare I mention European intervention?<br><br>[color:green]Cleansed by the grassroots hardcore.</font color=green>