First the wonky stuff. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index (CBCCI) has jumped again for October and now measures the highest current sentiment among consumers since 2000. The CCI now stands at 137.9 (1985=100), up from 135.3 in September. Additionally, the future outlook of consumers, known as the “Expectations Index” (consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions) increased from 112.5 last month to 114.6 this month. More DATA winnamins.
What does that mean? Well, it means middle-America feels GREAT about now, next week, next month, and well into next year. Additionally, now that the winnamins are starting to catch up to them, the pontificating wonkified actuaries will begin to project a splendidly “strong” holiday season. Duh! They’re always playing catch-up. LOL.
The key to understanding MAGAnomics is to focus on the middle-class. If the middle-class is thriving and doing well, all of the economic indicators will tell the same story. MAGAnomic benefactors (ordinary working people outside the investment class) are scantly impacted by the Stock Market.
This is the key and cannot be repeated enough.
Trump’s MAGAnomic policy focuses on Main Street. The preceeding 30+ years of economic policy focused on Wall Street.
That’s the essential difference.
The benefactors of MAGAnomics are those working week-to-week, month-to-month, to take care of their family. The middle-class; not the uni-focused investment class.
When the middle-class is optimistic, confident and positive, you can be certain of an exceptional holiday season. This is not challenging to understand.
As we shared when the third-quarter GDP results were announced a few days ago; everything is pointing to a great fourth quarter and holiday retail season.
Overall the 3.5% GDP growth is exceptionally strong. To see the data bolstering a positive future forecast I would draw attention to Table 2 (lines 43 through 49) and the analysis for net impact over Exports/Imports. The heavy import number delivered a net subtraction of 1.78% from GDP growth; that’s a result of a large increase in imported durable goods [likely anticipatory holiday inventory buildup].
As you can imagine from your own shopping experiences, durable goods inventories generally climb in the third quarter as companies increase inventory in preparation for holiday sales in quarter four. The growth in the buildup of this inventory is significantly higher than historic trend; this means companies are forecasting strong consumer demand for goods in Q4, the holiday season.
Further support for a booming Q4 purchase prediction can be found in the current 4% growth of consumer spending. With wages growing (3.8% avg), and with an incredibly strong jobs market, people are making large purchases with confidence. Additionally, price data in the current GDP report shows inflation at a 1.6 percent annualized pace.
Add it all up and you can see the reason for companies to boost inventory ahead of a very strong holiday season. The middle class drives the MAGAnomic economy. Workers are getting paid more and being taxed less; our paychecks are bigger.
Simultaneously inflation is low (prices not increasing), so the net is more disposable income to make purchases, combined with confidence in wages/jobs allowing people to spend more.