Consumer Confidence Falls 10 Points in February

Here’s a mini-roundup of different takes on yesterday’s Consumer Confidence Index release:

Click through below for an updated look at the Tableau viz I created of the Consumer Confidence Index data from the Conference Board.

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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. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1

    The Key is Tim’s History Chart

    Irrespective of month to month +/-; it appears a moot point. We’re approx 1/7th the consumer confidence we were at the repression’s 2005-2007 peak, 19.7/140.

    What are consumers buying now-a-days anyway?

    I mentioned I saw S. Seattle rush hour traffic on I-5, I-405 and 167th last Friday look like 10-20% of Valentine’s/President’s Day previous weekend traffic mess….even getting off 167th to the major local stoplights was a single [not triple or quadruple] signal wait. Then I got to the same restaurant I went to on the previous holiday weekend in rush hour [Hwy 18] in the same grim “non-traffic”…..the restaurant was essentially empty and they told me they take anyone’s coupons, expired or not….LOL.

    Even by 6PM, the restaurant had old fashion waiting lines on the holiday weekend the week previous and every booth was full. I guess the consumer’s debit balance is zero again after the Valentine’s splurge.

  2. 2
    The_Dude_Abides says:

    Honestly Tim…you’ve been spot on the mark wrt overpriced housing in the State of Washington and I’ve been a big fan for years. I’m amazed at the Bellevue foreclosures et al. I guess when the tide went out, there were a lot of naked swimmers around here. :) I plan on renting for several more years.
    That said, I find it unfortunate so many on this blog have made a 100% direct correlation of housing and the entire investment spectrum. There have been opportunities of a lifetime the last 15 months. There were good banks, energy co’s, and bond cef’s, priced at armageddon levels. I heard today that retail investors have missed the rally. Do people realize that when Buffett went bullish in the fall of 2008(bailing out GS and GE), it was a rare event? Munger’s harangue yesterday was simply a backhand to the Fed & State gov’s to grow up and rein in their spending. Buffett has been saying that things were too expensive, for most of my life…and I ain’t no spring chicken.
    Ah heck….I’m going to youtube and listen to Dylan’s ‘You Belong To Me’

  3. 3
    pfft says:

    Does anyone really care about consumer confidence?

  4. 4
    artistx says:

    Consumer confidence is based on speculation, therefore it’s meaningless. If anything, it’s a reflection of peoples mood (have you seen how bad the weather is around the US?). The stock market is consumer confidence in action. It’s fairly flat right now with a bit of volatility.

  5. 5
    Union de Palenqueros says:

    RE: The_Dude_Abides @ 2

    Every single day there are trades to be made that make a killing in the stock market. Also, if you are pessimistic about the market, you can always buy an inverse index ETF that multiplies the index losses by 1, 2 or 3 and turns them into gains. No margin account required.

  6. 6
    wjjw says:

    Real Estate: Your local forecast
    381 markets tracked
    By Sept. 30, 2011, the national median home price is expected by fall by about 6%. Check the predictions for your city.
    Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA

    Forecast change: Sept. 30, 2009 – Sept. 30, 2010
    Forecast change: Sept. 30, 2010 – Sept. 30, 2011

    Market fundamentals
    Median Family Income
    Median Home Price
    (Third quarter 2009)
    Change in Home Prices
    (From third quarter 2008 thru third quarter 2009)
    Worst 1-Year Home Price Change
    (Second quarter 2009)

  7. 7
    The_Dude_Abides says:

    RE: pfft @ 3
    pfft & art – I think consumer confidence is important but one month does not a trend make. It’s been a choppy recovery and we’ll see what happens when Uncle Ben cuts off the MBS spigot & raises the DR & FFR to reasonable levels. This war on savers simply can not continue.

  8. 8
    David Losh says:

    We are in a consumer driven economy. Things are very uncertain. Yes there have been opportunities, but we are in a larger market place than we have had in the past. The stock market was down today because of the European projections.

    Greece has always had debt, the country will go on strike, there will be some dancing, and life will go on, in Greece. The very idea that Greece, Italy, and Spain are going to magically become European was a joke from the beginning.

    There is fear in this country that we will become more European. People say we may embrace a European brand of Health Care, they call it socialized.

    As the greatest consumer nation on earth we have been made responsible to keep the manufacturing machine moving. Who’s going to want all that crap from China? The Europeans demand higher quality.

    This is only one indicator, but it is important to the rest of the world also.

  9. 9

    RE: The_Dude_Abides @ 6

    But the Savers Hoping for Deflation Caused the Repression?

    LOL, everyone votes their pocketbook, if they’re in debt up to their eye-balls, they predict a repression bottoming out any time now [LOL] and imminent home price increases. Reminds me of Peter crying wolf in error, month after month, year after year.

    But let’s be real, even MSM is saying 2 more years of home price declines [and 2 years from now, it will be 2 more years, etc, etc?].

    A day does not make a trend [BTW, DOW was down 170 pts as I write]; but Jan 2010 was a losing month and Feb 2010 looks to be another loser too for stocks.

  10. 10
    pfft says:

    By softwarengineer @ 9:

    RE: The_Dude_Abides @ 6

    LOL, everyone votes their pocketbook, if they’re in debt up to their eye-balls, they predict a repression bottoming out any time now

    the recession ended in August.

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