Economic data is looking good. So why the glum vibes?

Jun 25, 2024
Unemployment is near record lows, GDP is growing, inflation has been trending down, wages are up. But in spite of it all, people are feeling bad.
One reason for all the economic angst? A very positive reference point from earlier in the pandemic might make some consumers feel like nothing will compare.
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Home prices have reached new records, yet consumer confidence rose. What gives?

May 28, 2024
Turns out what we're seeing may not be optimism as much as less pessimism.
Plans to buy a new home in the next six months were "at one of the lowest levels that it’s been, I think, in the history of the Consumer Confidence Index,” says Brian Connolly of the University of Michigan.
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Consumer confidence grows, but the data has limitations

Jan 30, 2024
The Conference Board's measure reached its highest level in more than two years.
Despite the fact that everyone experiences the economy differently, The Conference Board found every income bracket became more confident in January — except for people making more than $125,000.
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One man's crisis of confidence in China

Oct 2, 2023
China’s economy has not been recovering as fast as hoped for after the zero-COVID policy ended, partly due to a lack of confidence.
A bustling market in China's Liaoning province. China's economy has not rebounded as quickly as anticipated, partly because of a lack of confidence among its people.
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Should the U.S. be worried about deflation? 

Sep 29, 2023
As price gains cool down, we consider the risk that the trend will go too far. Plus, is consumer sentiment a trustworthy indicator of economic activity?
Price gains have been on the decline after a bout of decades-high inflation that started during the pandemic. It's a welcome change for consumers, but deflation is another threat to the economy.
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Conference Board reports fall in consumer confidence

Sep 27, 2023
The nonprofit business research group found that consumers think a recession is on the way, as the economy faces challenges ahead.
One thing consumers are worried about, and think could signal an oncoming recession, is high food prices.
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Consumer confidence is rebounding. Here's why.

Jul 26, 2023
The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index is up 40% over last year, aided by moderating inflation and job market strength.
"We know from history that as long as folks are working, they feel more comfortable about spending,” said Quincy Krosby of LPL Financial.
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People over 55 are more glum about the economy, consumer survey says

May 30, 2023
People in that age group have less time left to earn or save money for retirement and have had more time to accrue debt.
In some ways, how you feel about the economy in your 60s and 70s depends on how things went in earlier decades. 
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Consumers say they're doing fine, but the economy as a whole isn't. Why?

May 23, 2023
It all depends on the questions pollsters ask. "How are you doing?" will elicit a different answer than "How do you feel about inflation?"
According to a survey out this week, almost three-quarters of people feel at least OK about their own personal economies. But other surveys suggest people think differently about the broader economy.
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Why pessimism about the U.S. economy might overshadow a longer-term success story

Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief of The Economist, explains why the U.S. economy may be stronger than it looks.
Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor of The Economist, said that the U.S. economy has outperformed other rich economies despite economic pessimism among Americans.
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