Pro Perspectives 11/12/21

November 12, 2021

Back in early August, we had just come out of the first half of the year, with the economy running at a better than 6% growth rate. 

Personal savings were at record levels.   Jobs were plentiful, and at record high wages.  

But despite these hot numbers, people were living a different story on the ground, emanating from a disruptive policy agenda in Washington.

With that, when the July consumer sentiment data came in (in early August), it was a shocker.   Consumer sentiment dropped to a 10-year low.   Expectations about the future?  8-year low. 

This, as forecasters were, at the time, looking for between 5%-7% annual rate of growth for the third quarter.  The economy ended up growing at just 2% in the quarter. 

Fast forward three months, and the consumer is even less optimistic.  

This morning, the October numbers came in.  Let's take a look …

The University of Michigan monthly survey of consumer sentiment is at another 10-year low. 

Next, here's how consumers surveyed feel about current business conditions.  It's not good. The reading is back around pandemic lows. And as you can see in the circled areas of the chart, it doesn't share good historical economic company. 
Here's how consumers feel about the future?  Eight-year low.  Consumers feel worse about the future than they did at the most uncertain depths of the pandemic/lockdown.  
This all comes at the Atlanta Fed's GDP model is tracking 8% growth for Q4.  The consensus economist community is projecting a little less than 5%.   Expect adjustments, downward.
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