Consumer Confidence Misses Big, Prints 52.5, Below Consensus Of 56.3 And November's 54.3

Tyler Durden's picture

The December Consumer Confidence (Conference Board, not UMich) number misses expectations of 56.3 by a mile printing at 52.5. This is also a material drop from the November 54.3 print. On the very important topic of jobs, "Those saying jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 3.9 percent from 4.3
percent, while those stating jobs are "hard to get" edged up to 46.8
percent from 46.3 percent.
" And while this completely irrelevant data point (and how it could be down when the market is up is beyond is) is pushing stocks lower, elsewhere we see the Richmond Fed come way ahead of expectations, coming at 25 on expectations of 11. Nonetheless, since the recent weakness in other regional diffusion indices has been completely ignored in recent weeks, we see no reason why the market should suddenly pay attention to this traditionally secondary Fed indicator.

From the Conference Board press release:

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had improved in November, decreased slightly in December. The Index now stands at 52.5 (1985=100), down from 54.3 in November. The Present Situation Index declined to 23.5 from 25.4. The Expectations Index decreased to 71.9 from 73.6 last month.

The Consumer Confidence Survey® is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by TNS. TNS is the world’s largest custom research company. The cutoff date for December’s preliminary results was December 20th.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of the Consumer Research Center at The Conference Board: "Despite this month's modest decline, consumer confidence is no worse off today than it was a year ago. Consumers' assessment of the current state of the economy and labor market remains tepid, and their outlook remains cautious. Thus, all signs continue to suggest that the economic expansion will continue well into 2011, but that the pace of growth will remain moderate."

Consumers' appraisal of present-day conditions was slightly more pessimistic than in November. The percentage of consumers claiming business conditions are "bad" decreased to 41.2 percent from 42.9 percent, however, those claiming business conditions are "good" declined to 7.5 percent from 8.5 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was less favorable than last month. Those saying jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 3.9 percent from 4.3 percent, while those stating jobs are "hard to get" edged up to 46.8 percent from 46.3 percent.

Consumers’ expectations were slightly less optimistic than in November. Those expecting an improvement in business conditions over the next six months edged up to 16.6 percent from 16.4 percent, while those anticipating business conditions will worsen edged down to 12.1 percent from 12.4 percent. Consumers remained mixed about future job prospects. Those anticipating fewer jobs in the months ahead increased to 19.5 percent from 19.1 percent, while those expecting more jobs declined to 14.3 percent from 15.1 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes decreased to 9.9 percent from 11.1 percent.

With that today's economic data is over, and the machines can take over now, slowly grinding stocks to a green close.

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Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Because he had high hopes, he had high hopes.

He had high apple pie in the sky hopes.

Whoops there goes another rubber tree plant. Ker-plunk.

Larry Darrell's picture

Apologies for O/T

Paging Turd Ferguson.  What's up with metals today?  Who isn't manning their post for the EE, thus allowing silver to fly?

Or do you think there will be the huge smackdown at the close of London to get back well below the $30/oz on silver?

B9K9's picture

This makes no sense. The consensus at CalcRisk is that we should expect slow, steady growth in the 2-3% range as we slowly build out of the recession that ended a few quarters ago.

Who are you going to trust, respected economic observers backed by government statistics, or a bunch of sad sacks moping around all day?


SheepDog-One's picture

Seeing as how all these 'Officials' have never gotten a damn thing right ever, I'll be happy to do the exact opposite of what these assmonkeys project.

I need more cowbell's picture
Cafferty Faucher LLP Files Class Action Lawsuit against JPMorgan and HSBC Alleging Manipulation of Silver Bar Financial Products

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cafferty Faucher LLP ( filed a lawsuit on behalf of a class that includes purchasers and sellers of the iShares Silver Trust (NYSE-Arca “SLV”) and the ETF Securities Ltd. Silver Trust (NYSE-Arca “SIVR”) during the period March 1, 2008 through the present.

The lawsuit alleges that JPMorgan, the custodian of silver backing SLV securities and the sub-custodian of silver backing SIVR securities, and HSBC, the custodian of silver backing the SIVR securities, manipulated and suppressed the price of silver bar financial products, including SLV and SIVR, in violation of Section 9 of the Securities Exchange Act.

If you purchased or sold the iShares Silver Trust ETF (NYSE-Arca “SLV”) or the ETF Securities Silver Trust (NYSE-Arca “SIVR”) securities during the period March 1, 2008 through the present, you may move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff within 60 days. The lawsuit, Case No. 1:10-cv-07768, was filed in the Northern District of Illinois on December 7, 2010 and is currently assigned to the Honorable Charles R. Norgle, Sr.

The case is also brought on behalf of investors who purchased or sold CME Group Inc’s “COMEX” silver futures or options contracts which are traded electronically through the Chicago-based “GLOBEX” platform and through COMEX. On behalf of these investors, the lawsuit alleges violations of the anti-manipulation provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act.

In addition to the claims under the anti-manipulation provisions of the Securities Exchange Act and the Commodity Exchange Act, the lawsuit also alleges that defendants violated federal antitrust law.

Cafferty Faucher LLP (, with offices in Chicago, Philadelphia and Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a national litigation firm that represents investors, businesses and consumers who have been injured by illegal marketplace practices. Firm contact information is available at the above website. The firm has recovered tens of billions of dollars for its clients in cases targeting illegal acts and practices in a variety of industries including securities, commodities, insurance, pharmaceuticals, banking services, medical, high-tech, food and beverage, construction materials, and many others. Combined, the firm’s attorneys have hundreds of years of experience working to recover losses on behalf of clients.

dlmaniac's picture

Looks like consumer confidence in the metals is pretty darn healthy.

LowProfile's picture

Consumer confidence used to track the stock market.

Retail is now out of the stock market, so I expect CC will now follow the job market.

101 years and counting's picture

but....but....i thought the herd flocked to the stores this holiday season because they were gaining



Caviar Emptor's picture

They flocked confidently, but went home sheepishly after lightening their wallets. Nobody's charging up a storm at 22% interest

SWRichmond's picture

Fox Business this morning was reporting that the east coast blizzard "put a damper" on an otherwise great shopping season...

Caviar Emptor's picture


I live not far from the big stores in Manhattan. The famous ones. It took a long time for crowds to even form, and when they finally did it was 90% window shopping. Guess online shopping was the quiet success story, but here's a dirty lil secret: it actually hurts retail margins because it's cut throat on price and there's no possibility of sales pressure or on the spot deals. There's much less impulse buying. And there's less crossover since online shoppers don't have to travel through other departments to get what they're looking for. There's less browsing. 

SheepDog-One's picture

Wait, I thought the best consumer credit fleecing was already in the bag? Now its all being ruined by the storm again, just like last year? My makes me blush to see how these liars lie!

MachoMan's picture

Exactly.  The present situation of the american consumer purchasing items on credit simply means that demand is being pulled forward...  Curious to see the glut that follows...

SheepDog-One's picture

And I cant wait to see all those credit shoppers cut up their cards and leave the bill with the credit card banksters!

MachoMan's picture

Or get literally whipped to dig ditches...  people think that defaulting is a good idea, but records of their default will persist far after the dollar is dead.  Whoever rises from the ashes is going to have a nice list of who's been naughty or nice.  And, likewise, the donkeys that paid for the bailouts might want to know who fucked them when the hiring starts again too... 

Both the credit shoppers and banksters are on the same team...  ass raping responsible consumers and savers...  generally through entitlement legislation, whether it be for the poor huddled masses or their overlords.

No, the day that you should enjoy is when the middle class comes over and cuts up the credit cards and makes the bankers watch and then turns the bankers upside down shakes out their money and cuts up their credit cards too.

duo's picture

I heard someone on CNBS yesterday talking about retail, and he said that places like Ann Taylor were up on top line, but were breaking even at best due to discounting.  Now there's a long-term business model.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

...but were breaking even at best due to discounting.  Now there's a long-term business model.

Nah, they'll just make it up on volume. Oh.....wait a minute, that was on volume. :>)

SheepDog-One's picture

Lot of pretend shoppers, looked busy but no one is maxing out their credit cards on cheap plastic Chinese crap. Sure some sales were made, as long as its 75% off, big deal its a wash.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Or, when gasoline and heating oil is 35% higher than last year, and groceries and medical bills and prescription meds are 25% higher, along with select other 'things needed to live,' Americans can buy less for a lot more.

francismarion's picture

You are correct. But you miss the point. ZH has posed itself as 'anti-establishment'. This causes the incompletely formed mind, the odd-ball, the faux-chic, the nihilist, the anti-semite and a host of assorted other gibberers, myself among them, to gravitate here and form a peanut-gallery for the economically informed but woefully jaundiced views of its purveyors.

And when I say economically informed, I smile. I have yet to see an economist that, once he gets his face from in front of a mirror, can give you a coherent, unbiased view of the economy. And I laugh when I hear them predict what will happen. In a decade, in a year, in a day, in an hour, in a minute. Economics is not a science. It is shackled to the inscrutability of human behavior and the imponderables of a, by turns, benign and perverse physical universe. The keepers of this site are its priests. Their execrations are its rosary. We are its devotees.

But I weep when I read the arch comments that appear here, trailing after each rancid posting like a pack of dogs hungry for their master's affection. They howl, they scream, they curse, they emit every imprecation that one hears walking among the bolgias of the damned. Some are not lacking knowledge, even a form of wisdom. But, like me, they have submerged themselves in the mindless chatter, malice and stupidity this form of communication evokes.

Oh, we can leave. But we return. The guilty dog, gratefully accepting the curse and the boot of the master, and the snarls and bites of the pack. What adulation. What meaninglessness.

Yes, 101 years and counting, the economy is improving, albeit with QE money. Things will continue to rock along like this for quite some time. But this is ZH, things are going to get worse. Much worse. Ahooooooooooo! Wha-Wha-Wha-AhOOooooooooooo! 

Rastadamus's picture

You clearly do not understand that Babylon is falling......

Raging Debate's picture

I couldn't junk you Francis, because frankly the writing style was beautiful. However, I do not see too many howls for the master's affection. Empires over expand and then tax the heck out of the middle class. The poor have nothing and the rich exempt themselves. Further, the form of market manipulation of NYC and DC is Mussolini corporatism. The odds of clearing the crisis without conflict are slim so I hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Is this somehow foolish?  

The howling has just begun from the investment community about low growth, this so happens to be same group that tends to fund reform when enough angst has been endured but it never seems in time this last century to avoid major military misadventure. Just another chapter of repetitive cyclical behavior. Yes, it IS predictable. Why? Because human nature doesn't change.  

francismarion's picture

Thank you for your kind words. Your reasoning is sound and I don't dispute most of your conclusions.

No, human nature doesn't change. But human behavior, in the aggregate, is prone to sudden unpredictable swings, that can bring the most discerning stategist's designs to nothing. And when someone does ring the bell and make a bundle, be he sage or simp, he is hailed as a genuis.

And overhanging all this is the tyranny of the natural world, waiting to remind us all that we are dried grass in a furnace. The only law of economics that you can depend on is that anything is possible. 

And as for any grand laws of history, being a fan, I can see what people are talking about. But in the here and now, patterns are nothing but ripples in a pond. They will not feed the bull-dog. The world is to complex, too rapidly evolving, too admit of shortcuts in deducing what comes next.


flattrader's picture

You just made more sense in the past few minutes with your posts than all the jabbering that has taken place in the comments section all year.

flattrader's picture

You just made more sense in the past few minutes with your posts than all the jabbering that has taken place in the comments section all year.

Rodent Freikorps's picture

Are you done bleeding all over the blog now?

Get a grip, man. This is fight club.

Punch someone in the face or go the hell home.

And I didn't junk you because I'm hoping you are just drunk.

cosmictrainwreck's picture

geez, Swamp Fox...I'm impressed. You are a man of letters, clearly. I mean: "their execrations are..." and "every imprecation....among the bolgias (?) of the damned", let alone the artistic sentence structures. Brilliant. Must have avery nice thesaurus. I think you're full of shit, but no matter. I did NOT junk the post, strictly out of literary respect. Ciao. 

francismarion's picture

Just a baboon that swallowed a dictionary. Glad you are amused. 

Oh regional Indian's picture

Marry-on, that is some serious word-smithing. I think I lost your thought stream because I was drowning in the word-flow. Very nice.

I think I agree with some of what you've written too. 

You must be a lawyer.


HarryWanger's picture

Actually, look at retail sales - Redbook and GS for the week and YOY. They were great.

Also not mentioned was the Richmond Fed which rose dramatically this week.

Also not mentioned was the State Street Investor Confidence number which also rose substantially.

Let's look at the good numbers as well as the bad.

Crispy's picture

2011 is the year strip malls, malls and retail space gets completely smoked. Nobody will spend next year.

My office is in Southampton, NY. Highly affluent for those not familiar.   Saks fifth ave, which has had a shop here for 40 years closed its doors. Retail space cant get filled. Shops are struggling big time. I know a few of them personally.

If retail times are tough in one of the wealthiest areas in the entire world than its only going to get worse elsewhere.

Tighten yer belts folks...

B9K9's picture

I've posted this before, but Newport Beach has some of the highest retail vacancies in SoCal.

I don't think it's an indicator of the lack of purchasing ability, but rather evidence that the smarter sheep are sniffing the air. This would correlate with continuing mutual fund outflows; the so-called 'smart money' might actually be living up to its name.

As for the areas still experiencing stronger retail sales, my guess is that it's taking place where the last cc purchases are being charged as consumers continue to live in free housing. When the ship is going down, the liquor cabinet is broken open with spirits dispensed for all.

francismarion's picture

Anecdotes are always interesting. Here's mine. The parking lots of the malls are full. A new German restaurant just opened near me. Vacancies seem to have stabilized. Unemployment is still high, but not rising. QE money seems to have finally begun to work near me. The highway crossing the eastern perimeter of my principality is getting four-laned, completing the last section of a 150 mile stretch. People are on short budgets, but managing. My manufacturing business is about on track, seasonally adjusted. Happy New Year!

WineSorbet's picture

Merry Xmas Francis, I mean Harry Wanger.  New handle for the new year?

HarryWanger's picture

Exactly. I'm seeing the same thing in my business as well. I've posted here for months and this Fall indicated that we had seen a big pick up in demand. That trickled all the way through the chain: manufacturing and distribution.

If it's not a post about the end of the world, they don't want to read it here.

SheepDog-One's picture

You dont have a business Harry, thats been proven here.

geminiRX's picture





francismarion's picture

The QE incarnations will run until they don't. Things will continue until they stop. Be ready for anything. Expect nothing. Be a source of strength. America has tremendous inherent resources. If half of the people here are as smart as they think they are, and don't sell themselves short, we will do fine, COME WHAT MAY.

More_sellers_than_buyers's picture

Its funny...Im sort everything and I lose money every day ...every day the machines kick in and I watch money drift out of my account.  Yet for some reason I sleep well at night...If I was long, I'd shit my pants all night watching the futures...maybe I am just plain stupid!

Boilermaker's picture

As I've learned, being stupid and being wrong are mutually exclusive in this 'market'.

Robot Traders Mom's picture

This really doesn't matter. My son and I are still getting food stamps and we will keep this economy going.

velobabe's picture

H I, mrs RoBo. you have such a nice son. i hope he doesn't look like you. he sounds kinda dashing and built, flexible too†

Robot Traders Mom's picture

He is a spitting image of me. He looks like Chunk from the Goonies mainly because he doesn't work and trolls around the internet all day.

Jay Gould Esq.'s picture

"Chunk from the Goonies"

( laughing )

cosmictrainwreck's picture

holy shit, man....I thought you waz dead. Whahappend? Come back to life for the grand finale?

Caviar Emptor's picture

How does this sound:

Consumer Confidence: Down

Gold consumer confidence: Up! Those holding gold feel mighty pumped.