People don’t tend to put a whole lot of stock in it, so far as we’ve seen, but polling company Gallup regularly publishes an array of economic data relating to employment, spending, and confidence.
And lately it’s been horrendous.
Economic confidence has recently fallen to a reading of -15 from -8.
Unemployment has surged to 8.8%, and is nearly a whole point higher than it was a few weeks ago.
And Consumer Spending the last few days has been abysmal.
So what’s going on?
The Bonddad Blog, which first made this observation, thinks it must have just been a bad, outlier sample.
…let’s deal with the collapse in Gallup consumer spending. This isn’t the only Gallup indicator which has collapsed over the last week or so. Gallup’s unemployment rate survey increased a full per cent over the last two weeks. Gallup consumer confidence also fell sharply. But the other measures of both consumer spending and employment reported above have held up nicely, or even improved. So we are left with explaining why there has been a sudden sharp downturn in all of Gallup’s consumer metrics, but only in Gallup’s consumer metrics. Either (1) there has been a sudden but hidden crash in the economy over the last several weeks, or (2) Gallup got an unrepresentative survey panel, as is going to happen from time to time in such surveys. Until I see evidence backing up the cliff-diving of Gallup’s consumer metrics, I’m going with (2).