Very large drops in the NFIB small business optimism index... and its components show a not-too-great picture.
Absolute level also not great, still far below 2-decade average and hovering around the lows of the 2-decade period ending in 2006.
Table below looks interesting:
Now let's take a look at the Conference Board Consumer Confidence survey
And the Michigan Consumer Confidence.
First with Expectations. Largest drop in a long time and level is matching 2009's March. I can't remember very well, but that was the top of the Housing Bubble and the equity markets I would guess.
And the headline index also took a big dive. And the levels are superb, right?
Let me add 3 more interesting charts.
Below... NONREVNS-TOTALGOV is the line that includes Student Loans (two charts down, as Total Government) and we get the green line, the steepest downward line. But "credit is starting to show signs of improvement". Indeed, not falling too fast is technically better.
Are young americans getting student loans in order to really get a better education? Or would these lads, perhaps, get some parties going on or perhaps paying rent or mortgage bills? It'd be interesting to see if university enrollment has skyrocketed lately.
Considering the amount of stimulus in place (ZIRP, QE1, QE2, Fed's maturing MBS/Treasuries re-investment, 3-year old 99-week extended jobless benefits, maintenance of Bush's tax-cuts, payroll tax-cut, cash for clunkers, housing tax credit) I REALLY do not agree with consensus view that the economy has reached escape velocity because the recent non-farm payroll numbers were robust.
What other numbers would you point to as evidence of a strong rebound in economic activity?