Consumer Confidence Slowly Climbing Out of the Gutter

It’s been a few months since we visited the subject of consumer confidence, so let’s update our interactive chart again. You can drag the time sliders below the chart to view data going all the way back to 1998.

At 51.4, the Present Situation Index has gained 154% from its December 2009 low point, but still sits well below 100, and even 14% below the pre-crash low point of 59.7 in September 2003. Meanwhile, although expectations for the future have been slowly climbing as well, they too sit well below 100.

It still looks like we’re just going to continue this slow climb out of the gutter for quite some time.

  

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

12 comments:

  1. 1

    I wonder how much lower these numbers would be if you backed out all of the responses from California? They’re a bit delusional down there, notwithstanding their huge budget issues and high unemployment rate, etc.

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  2. 2
    David Losh says:

    It all depends on how you spin it. Increased consumer confidence means consumers took on more debt, more student loans, more car loans, more mortgages, and more credit card debt. $10 Billion in March was taken out, if I recall.

    I see this as a continuation of the problems we already have.

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  3. 3
    Jonness says:

    It just goes to show, if you throw enough borrowed money and Bernanke magic at these sheep, they’ll click their heels three times and believe they are back in Kansas.

    With that said, the local IT market seems to have really heated up lately. Either we are seeing some signs of improvement, or the labor market is experiencing a continuation of the divide between the haves and the have nots.

    On another note, mortgage rates have hit a new record low. Those that listened to Realtors several years ago and bought houses before the rates shot up and priced them out of the market forever must really be kicking themselves right about now. :)

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  4. 4
  5. 5
    Bingo says:

    RE: Jonness @ 3

    FWIW. It’s getting more competitive to find competent Accounting/Finance personnel. For example, there are roughly 5x’s the number of daily job postings listed on Craigslist now than there were last year at this time. Considering that neither MSFT, AMZN, SBUX, BA nor PCAR (who seem to be practicing some sort of scorched earth policy of finding Acctg/Fin personnel) list on Craigslist, the jobs situation is waaayyy different than it has been the last 3 years.

    http://seattle.craigslist.org/acc/

    Granted, these aren’t software engineering nor CEO jobs, but they’re not burger flipping jobs either.

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  6. 6
    ray pepper says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1

    Delusional in California? Well maybe…………….100 people at an open house and a line looking like a rock concert: http://tbwsdailyshow.com/2012/05/15/the-race-to-get-more-homes-on-the-market/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheTbwsDailyShow+%28The+TBWS+Daily+Show%29

    We have higher powers at work here Kary and my oh my are they TURNING The CRANK!

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  7. 7
    Tim McB says:

    RE: Jonness @ 3

    Re: Those that listened to Realtors several years ago and bought houses before the rates shot up and priced them out of the market forever must really be kicking themselves right about now.

    Or they refi’ed too and are no more worse for wear than buying now with record low rates.

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  8. 8
    ray pepper says:

    RE: Tim McB @ 7

    Tim, those that listened to “Realtors” or ANYONE have nobody to blame but themselves. However, I would like to point out those that bought, and now have posession of these upside downhomes, are quickly realizing it was the BEST decision of their lives and every month that goes by they realize this even more…The only question is just how many more months/years is this GIFT going to be rewarded and how much longer till the BIG CASH BONUS is offered to finally end the buffet!

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  9. 9
    John Bailo says:

    We are due for a broad based recovery but what that means is nothing like we’ve seen in the last 30 years of high stakes capitalism. We will probably have a labor shortage and wages will rise while the cost of goods remain the same.

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  10. 10
    MS says:

    Stock markets are coming down fast. If the euro breaks down, we can bid adieu to the recovery, at least on a short term basis.

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  11. 11
    Jonness says:

    By Tim McB @ 7:

    Or they refi’ed too and are no more worse for wear than buying now with record low rates.

    It can’t be all that fun to buy a house and watch it fall in value as rates continue to plummet. And even if you keep your head above water and qualify for a refi, it’s typically not all that cheap to do.

    But Ray made a good point. Many of these people will end up stopping payments and riding out the free rent machine. That should make them feel better about it all.

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  12. 12
    Jonness says:

    By MS @ 10:

    Stock markets are coming down fast. If the euro breaks down, we can bid adieu to the recovery, at least on a short term basis.

    If the Greeks run the banks, things could get ugly.

    http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/16/11729795-greeks-withdraw-894-million-in-a-day-is-this-beginning-of-a-run-on-banks?lite

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