Confidence High Across the Board

October 2018

Consumer confidence hit an 18 year high in September, a very positive indicator for spending going into the holiday shopping season. The Conference Board Index measured consumer confidence at 138.4, up from 134.7 in August. This is the highest it has been since September 2000. (An index reading of 100 represents how household saw the economy in 1985).

A high consumer confidence is a good sign for the third quarter GDP, since consumer spending attributes to about 70% of GDP and economist are forecasting GDP growth at 3.3% for the third quarter. While some economist have voiced concerns about current trade tensions between the U.S and our trading partners, the consumer has not felt the effect of it.

In the continuing trend of increasing confidence and outlook, the National Association of Manufacturers (across all industries) are reporting exceeding high (92.5% of respondents) outlook for the third quarter. This is on pace for the highest yearly reading of the surveys 20 year history. Outlook for the fourth quarter is at 93.9% positive, making it the highest one-year average on record. Optimism for small manufacturers increased in by 1.8% from Q2 to Q3 to 91.3%.

Builder confidence remains unchanged in September from August at 67 according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Builders remain confident that the growing economy and rising incomes will allow more individuals to pursue buying new homes. Even with housing affordability becoming a challenge, many builders maintain a positive outlook for September.

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