• 99 days Could Crypto Overtake Traditional Investment?
  • 104 days Americans Still Quitting Jobs At Record Pace
  • 105 days FinTech Startups Tapping VC Money for ‘Immigrant Banking’
  • 109 days Is The Dollar Too Strong?
  • 109 days Big Tech Disappoints Investors on Earnings Calls
  • 110 days Fear And Celebration On Twitter as Musk Takes The Reins
  • 111 days China Is Quietly Trying To Distance Itself From Russia
  • 112 days Tech and Internet Giants’ Earnings In Focus After Netflix’s Stinker
  • 116 days Crypto Investors Won Big In 2021
  • 116 days The ‘Metaverse’ Economy Could be Worth $13 Trillion By 2030
  • 117 days Food Prices Are Skyrocketing As Putin’s War Persists
  • 119 days Pentagon Resignations Illustrate Our ‘Commercial’ Defense Dilemma
  • 119 days US Banks Shrug off Nearly $15 Billion In Russian Write-Offs
  • 123 days Cannabis Stocks in Holding Pattern Despite Positive Momentum
  • 124 days Is Musk A Bastion Of Free Speech Or Will His Absolutist Stance Backfire?
  • 124 days Two ETFs That Could Hedge Against Extreme Market Volatility
  • 126 days Are NFTs About To Take Over Gaming?
  • 127 days Europe’s Economy Is On The Brink As Putin’s War Escalates
  • 130 days What’s Causing Inflation In The United States?
  • 131 days Intel Joins Russian Exodus as Chip Shortage Digs In
Another Retail Giant Bites The Dust

Another Retail Giant Bites The Dust

Forever 21 filed for Chapter…

Is The Bull Market On Its Last Legs?

Is The Bull Market On Its Last Legs?

This aging bull market may…

Zombie Foreclosures On The Rise In The U.S.

Zombie Foreclosures On The Rise In The U.S.

During the quarter there were…

  1. Home
  2. Markets
  3. Other

Retail Sales vs. Consumer Confidence; Unwarranted Fed Faith in Wrong Surveys

Conference Board Consumer Survey

The consumer conference board does a paper survey every month on consumer confidence.

The board's technical notes say (emphasis mine) "The targeted responding sample size - approximately 3,000 completed questionnaires - has remained essentially unchanged throughout the history of the CCI."

I called up the board with a simple question: How many surveys do you send out to get 3,000 completed questionnaires?

The very snooty person who answered the phone told me to look in the technical notes. However, the information isn't there or I cannot find it. I had already read the technical notes before I called. Besides, my question was quite simple.


Retail Sales vs. Consumer Confidence

The Fed places a lot of faith in this survey. Yellen cites strong consumer confidence frequently, as did Bernanke before her.

The numbers are out today. Consumer confidence is up. In general, confidence been high and rising for years.

Happy consumers are supposed to be shopping like mad, especially given the collapse in the price of gasoline.

Let's investigate those theories from today's Econoday Report.

Consumer Confidence

Alleged ties of this survey to consumer spending appear to be a complete bunch of hooey.

I keep wondering if paper surveys are part of the problem. Are the people who respond to random paper surveys more likely to be happier than those who don't?


New York Fed Survey

The New York Fed also does a survey. Every month, the New York Fed interviews a rolling group of 1200 people to produce a detailed Survey of Consumer Expectations.

Here are the results of the Fed's latest survey.


One Year Look Ahead Household Spending Projections

One Year Look Ahead Household Spending Projections
Larger Image

 

Given the Fed places so much faith in various consumer confidence numbers, I have a simple question: Why don't they believe their own survey?

 

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment