Yesterday still more data was released that indicates that American consumers are not bullish. This news follows on the heels of other statistics that reflect a significant lack of confidence in the economy and in prospects for a better future. Consumer confidence is a leading indicator because cautious consumers do not spend, and when consumers are not spending the modern American economy is not growing.
It is hard to argue that the lack of confidence is misplaced. Americans have been hit with lots of bad economic news lately. Jobs are scarce. Money is tight. Businesses seem to be taking a wait-and-see approach to investment, hiring, and growth. The constant efforts by the Obama Administration to convince us that the economy is, in fact, recovering leaves the feeling that our leaders are either out of touch or blowing smoke. There aren’t many signs that the economy is going to be booming any time in the near future.
Still, it doesn’t take a lot to change attitudes. BP’s apparent success in capping the blown deepwater well in the Gulf of Mexico may help people to start feeling better about America and its prospects. Let’s just hope we don’t get hit with more bad news that overwhelms a resurgence in consumer confidence.