Marketplace Scratch Pad

If you’re happy and you know it…

Scott Jagow May 26, 2009

The number of the day is consumer confidence. The Conference Board says its Consumer Confidence Index shot up 14 points in May to 54.9. It was 40.8 in April. It’s at its highest level since September. I have three questions. Why? Why? Why?

Here’s what Lynn Franco of the Conference Board had to say:

“Looking ahead, consumers are considerably less pessimistic than they were earlier this year, and expectations are that business conditions, the labor market and incomes will improve in the coming months. While confidence is still weak by historical standards, as far as consumers are concerned, the worst is now behind us.”

I suppose that’s possible, and there are encouraging signs, but I don’t know that the labor market and incomes will improve in the coming months. And I’m fairly certain the housing market has a ways to go. Economist Paul Krugman has this concern about the economy:

“I don’t think we’ve hit bottom, but the bottom is not too much further below us. My big concern is that we don’t hit the bottom and bounce, we hit the bottom and stay there. It’s not obvious where the recovery comes from.”

So, what’s your confidence level?

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