Historically, shortly following a peak in consumer confidence, a recession has followed. Today's report from The Conference Board showed March Consumer Confidence to have jumped to 125.6 from February's 116.1. The highest level since 2000.
Is it the peak?
Can't say. However the data for the survey was collected prior to March 16th. The American Health Care Act (TrumpCare?) failed on March 24th. Definitely notable.
So the "soft" data (survey data) is strong.
But the "hard" data (actual data) is weak: According to the Atlanta Fed GDP Now data, Q1 US GDP growth is tracking at a less than robust 1.0% annualized rate of growth. Significantly below the original estimates of 2-2.5%.
It is ultimately the "hard" data that will have the greater impact on corporate earnings. Corporate earnings will determine the true value of stock prices, once the emotion is stripped out.
We shall discuss this and a number of other aspects of global economic, financial market and wealth management issues on our weekly client webinar today. We shall post the recorded version on our website shortly thereafter (at or about 5pm EDT). So please feel free to tune in...
Scott Tomenson,CIM Managing Partner, Chief Investment Strategist