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Friday Fact: Consumers Are Divided on Business Conditions

I noticed an interesting result in the Conference Board’s most recent Index of Consumer Confidence in March. The percentage of survey respondents describing business conditions as "good" reached its highest point since 2000. Great news, right?

But there’s more. The number describing conditions as "bad" also rose, while the number who said "normal" fell. Now that’s odd. Usually, “good” and “bad” are at either end of a scale, which is why there is a nearly perfect negative correlation between the two responses over time. The rise in in both "good" and "bad" views may reflect divergent opinions on whether tariffs are a good thing or a bad thing.

Perhaps that is the reality of the US economy in the Trump era: consumer attitudes are becoming increasingly polarized, and the number of “normals” is shrinking.

Fact Friday_Normal is Shrinkingv2

 

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This blog post is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice. Any opinions or forecasts contained herein reflect the subjective judgments and assumptions of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect the views of Loomis, Sayles & Company, L.P. This information is subject to change at any time without notice.

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Loomis Sayles analysts are career professionals who offer deep knowledge and experience in a diversity of global asset classes and market sectors. These dedicated experts provide the insight essential to supporting our portfolio management teams across a wide range of investment strategies.

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