Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday Night Economic Assessment

The Consumption Index gave up its optimism and came back down to just below the Production Index last week (in the context of its 28-day moving average), as US stock markets endured the emotional turmoil of investors bottoming-out the markets, and consumers endured the emotional bottoming out of their ultimate collective contemporary bank account... the stock market.

The Production index, pinned-down by the close proximity of the Consumption index, held nearly steady.

Overall, the recovery appears to remain intact from its December bottom, though fragile and in peril should the consumer be frightened off by further bad news.

At this point, everything is in the hands of the consumer. America has ample spare productive capacity, a large pool of readily-available labor ready for hire to service expansion, and the shelves of America's stores are well-stocked. All that is lacking is liquidity and confidence of the consumer.

Last week the news (as it appeared to me) was mostly positive... The markets put in a major bottom, a couple troubled companies found themselves well enough to be able to refuse further bailout monies, Congress was seen to be moving on its "Stimulus" package, and economic news looked supportive as well. We shall hope to see this reflect in the Consumption Index this week (Keep an eye on those Part 8 "Paperboard" numbers... hopefully they start rising quickly as the new week progresses... If the news can remain calming to the consumer.)