Today, I give you good news on consumer confidence and durable goods.
The Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence jumped to 121.7 in April, much better than the 113.0 economists were expecting, and the highest level since February 2020.
Increasing vaccinations, combined with additional government stimulus, were the main reasons the index rose from 109.0 in March to 121.7. The present situation index, which is based on consumers’ assessment of current conditions, surged from 110.1 last month to 139.6.
Gallup also reported good news on confidence this week, with their Economic Confidence Index rising for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These reports are great news, especially since consumer spending accounts for roughly 70% of GDP. Speaking of GDP, we will get the first reading on first-quarter 2021 GDP on Thursday. Expect a big number.
In other good news, new orders for durable goods—which are big-ticket items that last more than three years—rose 0.5% in March. This came after a weather-related decline in February. New orders for durable goods have now risen in 10 of the past 11 months.
Along with the recent good news on retail sales and jobs, we now have plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future.