Consumer confidence edged higher in July, despite the doom and gloom flowing out of Washington, according to the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index released today.
The Index rose nearly two points to 59.5, up from 57.6 in June. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected the July index to decline to 56.
Although the Index rose – indicating improved optimism about the economy – consumers still have mixed feelings about how the economy is doing.
Watching Fox news at the gym every morning is good motivation for burning calories, but I always need a reality check when I get to work.
Here’s a dose of reality that I didn’t see on Fox this morning:
Ford posts best 1Q profit in 13 years
UPS raises 2011 forecast as 1Q profit soars
Consumer Confidence Index rises in April
Together, these reports indicate that consumers are willing to spend, they’re feeling somewhat better about job creation and businesses are reaping the benefit.
The Dow has lost more than 1,300 points in the last few weeks, plunging below 10,000 today as investors respond to Europe’s continuing economic troubles and other global headlines.
And, yet, U.S. consumers are blissfully happy.
The Conference Board said on Tuesday the Consumer Confidence Index rose to 63.3 from a revised 57.7 in April. The index measure how consumers feel about current economic conditions and how they view the next six months.
There seems to be a disconnect here. Why, I wondered, are consumers so happy while investors are running in fear? I called University of Tennessee economist Bill Fox for an explanation.
Fox said …