The one index that just refused to correlate to the market, and the UMichigan Index, and the Confidence Board, was released today, and once again hit a 2010 low of -49. The index has been in a -48 to -49 range for the past five weeks. The primary reason for this week's drop was due to a 6 point decline in the personal finance component, from -6 to -12, the lowest reading since December 6, with not much change in the other two readings: National Economy and Buying Conditions. It is somewhat confounding that this index persistently "refuses" to go up with all the other self-reinforcing confidence indices out there.Maybe this is the reason: from the report "Eighty-eight percent think that the economy, despite what economists say to the contrary, is still in a recession."
From the press release:
Consumer confidence is on a cold streak, locked in place since the beginning of the year at very near its worst-ever rating – and more than three in four think the economy is stalled or will decline in coming months.
The ABC News Consumer Comfort Index stands at -49 on its scale of +100 to -100, in a 2-point range and without significant movement for the past six weeks. It is hovering just 5 points from its all-time low, -54 last January, and is far worse than its long-term average, -13 in 24 years of weekly polls.
A separate, forward-looking measure finds little in the way of optimism for the economy’s future. Just 23 percent think things are getting better and 77 percent say the economy is staying the same or getting worse – a chilling assessment given the very low ratings of current sentiment.
And the clincher:
A key indicator from last week’s ABC News/Washington Post poll underscores these persistent negative feelings. Eighty-eight percent think that the economy, despite what economists say to the contrary, is still in a recession. And on a more personal note, 53 percent say that based on their experience the economy has not begun to recover.