A key metric of the U.S. economy is consumer confidence – a reading of how confident consumers feel about the economy, both currently and in the near future. A confident consumer helps stimulate the economy by freely spending their money, as compared to an unconfident or insecure consumer who will instead pull back on spending to hold on to their money. Now, three major surveys that offer key readings on consumer sentiment in July show big gains in confidence – a bullish sign for the economy.
Federal Reserve Board
On the face of it, the inflation numbers for May seemed quite positive and an apparent validation of the Federal Reserve Board’s efforts to glide the economy into a “soft landing.” But the overall number, a 4% increase in the broader-based Consumer Price Index turned out to be a bit of an illusion, causing the Fed to leave interest rates at the current level, but forecast two more interest rate increases in 2023.
See more on inflation concerns[Read more…] about May Inflation Rate Raises Hope for ‘Soft Landing’; Fed Keeps Current Interest Rate
I would hope that by now long time Strata-gee readers had already anticipated this day, and now it’s official that this day has come – the U.S. economy is in a recession. It really shouldn’t surprise anyone. However, I know that there are some I’ve spoken with who were expecting a “rubber ball” rebound where – almost magically – everything, including business levels, would bounce back to normal quickly. This seemed to be based more on wishful thinking, or just general optimism, rather than anything factually based.
I suspect some of those folks might be a little surprised to learn that the economy is sliding into recession.
Learn more about our 2020 recession…[Read more…] about A New Epidemic Sweeps Across America…Recession
Probably the biggest news in business today is that the Federal Reserve Board hiked interest rates for the first time in almost a decade. Wall Street celebrated by driving up stock values in the wake of the news. Yet consumer specialists and others are sounding the alarm. So is the Fed’s rate increase good news or bad news?
See our take on the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates… [Read more…] about Fed Hikes Rates for First Time in Decade; Is This Good or Bad?
Newly released data from the Commerce Department shows that housing starts took what many are characterizing as a startling jump in November – rising 23% overall above the October rate and almost 30% above the November 2012 rate. Analysts are struggling to explain the gains other than to say these numbers show a durable housing recovery – welcome news considering the fact that the housing construction industry is a key driver of the overall economy.