Consumer confidence numbers are weak.
Consumer spending numbers are brisk.
I'm inclined to believe the spending numbers, but I do find it a curious contradiction.
Agreed. When gauging the mood of consumers, I give preference to spending. But the divergence does indicate further analysis. Where are they spending and why? We know retail showed nice growth in the last month. Consumer Credit is also growing at a brisk pace, roughly 8.3% annually at the current pace.
While Consumer Confidence and Sentiment uses a limited sample, Spending measures the entire consumer base.
Certainly something to watch.
I may have an example in our house that may be similar in some way that will be an answer to the typical consumer who is spending today with low confidence
Our house is just old enough to need a do over. Other people may have different things they will buy but we will use our house hold as an example. In our house the carpets are getting old, the wood floor is getting scratched and losing it's luster, kitchen appliances break or we wonder what will break next. Golly, we hope the fridge keeps going, as there are no new one's in the show room to choose from, in fact there are non that would fit in our kitchen, that are not on back order. So we had better think about what we want or need etc.
What do you do with out a fridge.
So: Assuming as we do, in our house hold, that inflation will continue, we have decided now is better than waiting a yr to replace stuff our house will need
We need a stove top and some carpentry work to make every thing fit, the carpet might as well be bought today, not next yr when we know it will cost more for the same thing
So: Consumers are buying today what they think will cost more tomorrow
When Germany had extreme inflation people bought any thing that they could touch as money lost value daily. Even if they did not need or want it, they bought to beat the inflation cycle
Our country is not to the extreme of buying what we do not want or need so very much, but we will buy what we think we need today before it costs more tomorrow
Even a can of beans went up by almost a dollar. Wish we had stocked up on beans, so we will buy extra meat as Cargill is warning about increased meat prices
Spending today because we think it will cost more tomorrow. People will buy different stuff but enough have lost confidence that inflation is transitory
Did you know that at today's rate of inflation, prices double every 11.?? yrs
What if inflation becomes more, not less???
Cash in the bank loses purchasing power every day, week, or yr
What Wayne said. Really - it's that simple. Since the "R" word is out there, moderate income people with the means are trying to get ahead of the curve. Been there, done that...
We have a huge freezer in the basement.
I love the 10 lb bags of chicken leg quarters for $5.90 at Walmart and will eat at least a bag every month for just me. 59c/lb!
For some reason, they were one of the few things that haven't gone up yet as of yesterday so I got 2 more bags then.
But I already had 80 lbs in the freezer with tons of other stuff and barely got the last 2 bags to fit.
Stocked up with the 30 cans of the canned chicken from Sams at just over $2/can.