The Economic Perspective: “Are Consumers Still Optimistic?”

This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program asks if consumers are still optimistic.  Mike, consumer confidence in the economy.  The most optimistic consumers are, the more likely they will spend and generate jobs in the economy.   Conversely, if consumers are pessimistic about the economy, that’s a bad sign for continued growth.  So how are consumers feeling today about the economy?

  1. Still upbeat
  2. Consumer confidence has continued to trend upward since the bottom of the recession in 2009
  3. And still has room to go; is about 10% lower than it was in 2000
  4. This despite concerns about trade disputes, a wobbly stock market, and potential international tensions
  5. Three factors have been shown to drive consumer sentiment – job growth, wage growth, and gas prices
  6. Jobs and wages are increasing, and gas prices have trended down about 30 cents per gallon since May
  7. As long as these factors remain, consumers should feel good
  8. I’m MW

And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.