Free Markets, Free People
If you were wondering why the stock market tanked yesterday, look no further than June’s consumer confidence numbers. Not good:
The Consumer Confidence Index came in at 52.9 in June, a jarring decline from 62.7 in May, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Conference Board, a private research group. It was the biggest drop since February and came on top of several gloomy economic developments in recent days.
Those “gloomy economic developments” of recent days include a 1Q GDP of 2.7%, housing sales that dropped 33% and unemployment numbers that while a tiny bit lower, showed nothing to indicate employers are hiring. Now consumers are indicating that they’re not willing to buy much of anything at the moment. That all adds up to bad news for the recovery – if in fact, we’re actually in one.
And the future isn’t looking much brighter:
In another troubling sign, forecasters expect U.S. auto sales to decline for June after growing every month since January. The Conference Board’s report showed that fewer people surveyed plan to make many major purchases, from homes and autos to refrigerators, over the next six months.
Again, not a good sign. In fact, what it is a sign of is something we’ve all been fearing:
"The more evidence that we get that consumers are losing their confidence and growing more tentative about things, the odds of a double-dip recession start to rise a little bit," said Tim Quinlan, economist at Wells Fargo.
Indeed. Wait … wasn’t all that stimulus money supposed to fix this?