How’s that Bush economy doing?
Consumer confidence in the U.S. jumped more than forecast in July to the highest level in almost six years, suggesting the June slowdown in spending could be temporary.
The New York-based Conference Board said its index of confidence soared to 112.6 from a revised 105.3 in June. Economists had expected a reading of 105 for last month.
In another report Tuesday, the Commerce Department reported that consumer spending rose 0.1 percent in June, the smallest gain in nine months and down from a 0.5 percent increase in May…
Confidence among Americans, whose spending accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy, is being shored up by a jobless rate that’s near the lowest in six years and income gains that have outpaced inflation.
“The consumer economy, once again, remains on a firmer footing than it has generally been given credit for,” said Richard DeKaser, chief economist at National City Corp. in Cleveland. “Even in spite of the pause in spending, we will see them come back.”
Wall Street has been nightmarish lately thanks to some real and looming credit threats, but activity there isn’t the whole economic picture. Overall, the economy grew strongly in the second quarter of 2007. And just to cherry-pick one US company, GM seems to have rebounded well after taking a huge $3.4 hit at this time last year.
GM today announced that it earned $891 million in the second quarter. That is the third consecutive quarterly profit for the nation’s largest auto maker which reported a $3.4 billion loss during the same period last year.
While GM is continues to sturggle [sic] in the North American market, the latest results were due to increasing sales in international markets. The company reported a net loss of $39 million in North America for the second-quarter, which is a great improvement over last year’s $3.95 billion loss domestically.
I won’t pretend to be an economist, but the overall economic picture strikes me as more positive than negative.