Confidence in the Consumer

You see the latest consumer confidence numbers? Do you even want to? According to the University of Michigan, confidence fell in April to its lowest level since the early ‘80s.

But do you ever wonder how they come up with these numbers? They take a telephone survey of only 300 people. It’s no surprise that people sound depressed: layoffs and foreclosures have people in a funk. And if they think the interviewer is downbeat, they’re likely respond in kind.

So what do the data tell us? We know that the news has been gloomy. But I like to watch what consumers do, not what they say. What they are doing isn’t upbeat, but it’s not that bad either. Consumers are still borrowing and buying stuff—clothes, cars, and big screen TVs. But the pace has slowed.

I wouldn’t panic on the basis of some survey. Chances are, consumers will keep right on spending.


Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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By | 2014-09-03T18:26:35+00:00 April 28th, 2008|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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