Oct 30, 2019

The growing consumer confidence gap

Expand chart
Data: The Conference Board; ; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index dipped slightly in October, but showed a notable decline in the survey's future expectations component and a growing divergence between respondents' views of their current situation and their expectations for the future.

By the numbers: Expectations fell 0.9 points during the month and have dropped by 17.5 points from their 2019 peak in July, Pantheon Macroeconomics chief economist Ian Shepherdson says in a note.

Why it matters: "The trend now probably is declining — not surprising given the ongoing trade war and specifically the August 1 announcement of tariffs on consumer goods."

  • "We expect slowing payroll growth gradually to depress consumers’ sentiment through the late fall and winter, but it’s hard to expect it to plunge as long as the stock market is resilient and gas prices are low."

But, but, but: Another consumer sentiment survey from online survey research company Morning Consult shows just the opposite.

  • They show increasing expectations of the future with "statistically significant weekly increases" in all measures of future expectations, but stagnant views on the present as consumers "adopted a gloomier view of their current financial conditions."

Go deeper: Mistrust in business grows

Go deeper

The consumer confidence gap shrank in November

Data: The Conference Board; Chart: Axios Visuals

The gap between consumers' confidence in the current state of the economy and their outlook for future economic conditions shrunk slightly in November, according to closely watched data released by The Conference Board on Tuesday.

Why it matters: "For some time, consumers have been more positive on current conditions, but have had a more wary eye on the future. That appears to be changing, at least at the margins," Jim Baird, Plante Moran Financial Advisors' chief investment officer, wrote in a note to clients.

Go deeper: Consumers scaled back plans to buy a new car in October

Keep ReadingArrowNov 27, 2019

Recession fears have vanished

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Money managers are not just bullish about the stock market, they're euphoric about the current and future state of the global economy, data from the Bank of America Merrill Lynch shows.

What's happening: BAML's monthly survey of fund managers from around the world finds investors are all in on the stock market, with global optimism rising by the most in 20 years and expectations of real economic growth jumping by the most in the history of the survey.

Go deeperArrowNov 13, 2019

Americans are ready to spend on holiday shopping, but expect steep discounts

Photo: Betsie Van der Meer/Getty Images

Americans plan to increase their holiday spending, with the average rising to about $675 on gifts this holiday season, according to a survey provided first to Axios by The Conference Board. That is an increase from last year's estimate of $627.

Yes, but: Consumers say they are expecting steep discounts, with more than a third reporting they expect — at a minimum — to buy half of their gifts on sale.

Go deeperArrowNov 7, 2019