A lot is being written and discussed about consumer confidence as an economic or investment tool. Bears, of course, are using recent surveys any which way they can. Throughout my career, I have often tried, and always failed, to find an objective and investable use for them. Much like investors sentiment surveys (see INVESTOR SENTIMENT SURVEYS: DON’T BE TOO SENTIMENTAL!)
I don’t know if anybody can see something I can’t see but this 40-year chart of the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index from Doug Short reveals nothing useful about the economy, either from a level or trend viewpoints. See Doug’s post if you want to dig deeper.
More charts from John Lounsbury via Doug Short.
The University of Michigan survey is a bit more helpful, at least at the troughs.
Finally, the National Federation of Small Businesses Index is also of limited value for investment purposes.