A Tale of Two Indexes: Consumer Confidence Versus Spending
Two reports measuring economic indicators are offering two conflicting views on the economy. Each was published in the days following the deal in Washington that ended the government shutdown, and pushed the deadline for the next debacle over the budget and debt-ceiling to early 2014.
First up is the Bloomberg Consumer Confidence Index. Poll respondents did not have a positive outlook on the economy, especially given the recent government shutdown. The index declined to minus 36.1 in the period ending October 20. This is the lowest number Bloomberg received since February’s minus 34.1.
Poll participants showed an increased hesitance to make purchases, and the “buying-climate” measure fell from minus 36.9 to minus 38.3. Their views on the overall economy posted the weakest numbers since October of last year clocking in at minus 68.2. All of the data from the poll compiled together leads to the conclusion that consumer confidence reached an eight month low last week.