The U.S. Conference Board is an economic think tank in partnership with Nielsen surveys which provides predictive economic analysis based on consumer and economic surveys within the larger U.S. economy. The latest monthly report from the board shows a stratospheric level of consumer confidence, 125.9 the highest level since 2000.
Accordingly, “consumers were even more optimistic in October than economists polled by Reuters expected.” The media and economic teams who thrill at the possibility of being able to talk-down the U.S. economy are apoplectic…
(Reuters) U.S. consumer confidence jumped to a near 17-year high in October, with households upbeat about the labor market and business conditions, which could underpin consumer spending and boost the economy in the final three months of the year.
The economy’s prospects were further bolstered by other reports on Tuesday showing an acceleration in wage growth in the third quarter and sustained increases in house prices in August. (read more)
The only ‘unexpected‘ part is actually the speed of Trump’s MAGAnomics taking hold within the larger Main Street economy; specifically regarding wage increases. CTH forecast the American labor market seeing the year-over-year comparative wage rate increases around 3 to 5% happening in the second full year of applied MAGAnomic policy. However, there are signs the blue and white collar wage growth is six to eight months ahead of schedule.
American wages and salaries, which account for 70 percent of U.S. employment costs, rose 0.7% in quarter three (July-Sept). Those same wage rates increased 0.5% in the second quarter (April – June). This means the year-over-year comparisons for wages and salaries are now trending up 2.5 percent in the 12 months through September (’16 -vs- ’17) after gaining 2.3 percent in the Q2 comparison through June.
With inflation on highly-consumable products, food, fuel, energy holding steady at near zero, the increases in wages mean actual disposable income increases. This lowered cost of living dynamic is allowing growth in consumer spending for the middle class.
Trump’s MAGAnomics is now entering a phase of self-fulfillment. Drive down energy prices;… which keep costs down for high consumables;… while simultaneously increasing overall middle America economic development;… which drives up wages; ….which facilitates the American worker’s ability to spend;… which drives GDP growth.
If President Trump’s economic policies can keep the momentum (note, tax help from congress would be nice), then after approximately two more quarters of this level of GDP growth the economic engine will be running on auto pilot; and once again the common sense free market Main Street (transactional) economy will be operational.
On the housing front you’ll note another dynamic at play which is directly related to growth in the Blue-Collar economy. Remember, the housing sector is directly related to the regions of the U.S. with the largest expansion of economic growth. A third report on Tuesday showed the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller composite home price index of 20 U.S. metropolitan areas rose 5.9 percent in August from a year ago after increasing 5.8 percent in July.
In the aggregate housing prices are being driven by a limited number of properties available for sale in the areas of the U.S. with the strongest economic growth.
Record-breaking increases in consumer confidence, combined with rising wages and strong house prices should keep consumer spending very strong for the rest of the year.
Yes, Mr. President, we will be saying “Merry Christmas” again…