Consumer confidence fell this month to its lowest level since April amid rising interest rates and lower-than-expected retail sales. Is the economic recovery losing momentum? We discuss the latest economic indicators.

Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, an independent economic research and consulting firm headquartered in Los Angeles

  • Felix

    Consumer confidence rises or falls based on prices and job prospects. Prices have risen substantially in the things that matter: housing, transportation, insurance, food. Meanwhile jobs are harder to get than ever, mainly because businesses prefer foreign workers who come here to help move jobs overseas.
    * Less money in means less money out.
    * Higher prices mean fewer purchases.
    Maybe the 1% want us all to spend foolishly and take on debt in order to feel successful, but the 99% has wised up.
    Like millions of others, I will put off buying a fancy new Apple product, or a $500,000 ant-infested shack in Silly Con valley, or a new car when the old one runs just fine.

  • Ryan

    How does your guest view the sustainability of creating economic activity off the back of very low interest rates (even after the most recent rise) and a federal reserve that is expanding their balance sheet by $1 trillion a year? At some point there will be inflation or a deterioration of the US dollar which will be devastating to the working class in this country? This “recovery” is totally contrived through financial engineering yet again.

  • geraldfnord

    Are these mean or median values? Our economy is so asymmetrically skewed I don’t trust mean values….

  • GiorgioOrwell2nd

    People in the real world understand by observing those around them, that while the jobless rates may be falling, those jobs are mostly part time, restaurant/entertainment type jobs, hardly those you can build a real economic recovery on. None of these reported statistics (consumer confidence, BLS jobless numbers, Housing Starts) actually reflect the economic quagmire we are in that has been 30 years in the making. Market signals have been interrupted by too much FED interference, and very few want to talk about the long term situation we find ourselves in..

  • Patricia Griffin

    Let us question if metrics applied to a consumer economy still hold.

    Our “consumer economy” may be experiencing a major transformation.

    Today people have a heightened awarenwss of the environmental crisis, increasing distrust of the financial systems, and/or are turning toward lifestyles that seek more meaning. As a result a plethora of alternative “economic” activity can be witnessed, e.g., free cycle, neighborhood swaps, second hand markets, cooperative ventures, etc.

    Thus, what are the ‘metrics’ by which we “measure” this alternative “responsible living economy”.

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