Free Markets, Free People
I’m not sure how this is “unexpected, but it certainly isn’t good news around election time. Why? Because when consumer confidence dips, that means the likelihood of an increase in private consumption, something that would help the economy, isn’t at all high.
U.S. consumer confidence unexpectedly weakened in August to its lowest in nine months as Americans turned more pessimistic about the short-term outlook, according to a private sector report released on Tuesday.
According to the article, consumers are concerned about price increases and expecting inflation during the next 12 months. It was the lowest level since November. July was originally reported as 65.9.
“Consumers were more apprehensive about business and employment prospects, but more optimistic about their financial prospects despite rising inflation expectations,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, in a statement.
But hey, don’t worry … be happy! Hope and change. Forward.
Yee haw …
The following US economic statistics were announced today:
The seaonally adjusted S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose strongly in June at an adjusted 0.9%. This follows three strong gains in a row of between 0.7% and 0.9% between March to May. Prices came off the bottom, reflected in the year-on-year rate which is finally positive at 0.5%. Non-seasonally adjusted results are much stronger, with the index up 2.3%.
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index in July fell 5 points to 60.6. July was revised -0.5 lower to 65.4.
The Richmond Fed manufacturing index rose in July to -9 from last month’s -17 to show continued contraction. New orders rose to -20 from July’s already very weak -25.
The State Street Investor Confidence Index, which measures the changes in investor holdings of equities, is down sharply this month, more than 3 points to 90.9.
In retail sales, Redbook reports a weak 1.5% year-over-year sales growth. Conversely, ICSC-Goldman Store Sales rose a solid 0.5% for the week and 3.4% year-over-year.
Or perhaps, you’re just not thankful enough for the nanny’s help and nanny feels a little put off. Why? You just don’t rank mommy government high enough (especially at election time) in your hierarchy of what helped you most through these difficult economic times:
“Given that only 15 percent of you turn to government assistance in tough times, we want to make sure you know about benefits that could help you,” USA.gov announced today. The ”government made easy’ website has created a “help for difficult financial times” page for people to learn more about the programs.
The government got that statistic from a poll asking Americans what helps them the most during tough times. Here are the results:
- Savings 44%
- Family 21%
- Credit cards/loans 20%
- Government assistance 15%
“Government assistance comes in different forms—from unemployment checks and food assistance to credit counseling and medical treatment,” USA.gov reminded readers.
This leg of the financial assistance push has ended. “Although our campaign to highlight Help for Difficult Financial Times has ended, we know that your struggles may continue,” said USA.gov today. “We will keep updating the tools and information we provide to help you get back on your feet.”
“Because without us, well, you can’t even find your feet” … or something.