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Consumer Optimism Remains High
Better Outcome than Expected

Consumer Optimism Remains High

Consumers rated job availability the best since 2001.

In spite of the ongoing trade disputes with China, consumer confidence increased to 134. 1 in May, close to last October's score of 137.9, a 17-year high, and a good jump from the strong score of a 129.2 in April, which at the time was very close to its 12-month average and up from the 121.7 tally in January.

Consumers scored the present situation at 175.2, the highest it has hit this cycle. The proportion of respondents who think jobs are "hard to get" fell to 10.9, compared to the all-time low of 9.6 reached in July 2000.

The Wells Fargo Economics Group stated, "The white-hot labor market continues to underpin measures of confidence. With jobless claims figures testing lows not seen in 50 years, there is no obvious sign of a turn in prospects for jobs."

As far as China trade issues, the group commented, "The initial cut-off for responses was the 16th of May, so there was at least some time for the recent escalation in the trade spat with China to factor in. But at this stage, consumers are nonplussed."

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December 14, 2019, 6:45 am PDT

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