• 9 hours Bezos’ Next Big Project Could Be Worth $100 Billion Per Year
  • 11 hours 3,600 Years Later, Climate Change Turns Mammoths Into $40M Market
  • 15 hours Tesla, Apple Claim China Is Stealing Intellectual Property
  • 17 hours EV Giants Duke It Out For Battery Dominance
  • 1 day Tech Billionaire Takes Aim At Google
  • 2 days Chinese Police Bust Largest Ever Illicit Crypto Mining Operation
  • 2 days Expect A Pullback Before Gold's Next Major Rally
  • 2 days Why Interest On Gold Matters
  • 2 days Ten Extravagant Food Items For The Wealthy Only
  • 3 days Why Saudi Arabia Won't Give Up On The Aramco IPO
  • 3 days $32 Million Crypto Heist Halts Tokyo Exchange
  • 4 days Is A Gold Selloff Looming?
  • 4 days Central Banks Are Stashing Gold And Dumping Treasuries
  • 5 days Three Cannabis Trends Flying Under Investors’ Radars
  • 5 days $1.3 Billion In Cocaine Found On JPMorgan Vessel
  • 5 days Amazon Teams Up With Lady Gaga To Win Over Generation Z
  • 6 days Dollar Falls As Powell Teases Rate Cuts
  • 6 days Will The World's First Trillion Dollar Company Ever Bounce Back?
  • 6 days Many Americans Will Never Stop Working
  • 6 days Mozilla vs DarkMatter: The Cyber Espionage End Game
The Problem With Modern Monetary Theory

The Problem With Modern Monetary Theory

Modern monetary theory has been…

Billionaires Are Pushing Art To New Limits

Billionaires Are Pushing Art To New Limits

Welcome to Art Basel: The…

  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