When we observed yesterday that according to the latest Conference Board data, US consumer confidence had soared to 113.7, the highest print since August 2001, we had just one question: would Trump take credit for the spike…
… which even the organization behind the index admitted was driven entirely by hope in the Trump administration, as the rebound was “due solely to increasing Expectations which hit a 13-year high”
“The post-election surge in optimism for the economy, jobs and income prospects, as well as for stock prices which reached a 13-year high, was most pronounced among older consumers.”
Meanwhile, absent hope for the future, reality for most US consumers deteriorated and their assessment of current conditions declined, with those saying business conditions are “good” decreased slightly from 29.7 percent to 29.2 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” increased from 15.2 percent to 17.3 percent.
As the Conference Board correctly notes, consumers’ “continued optimism will depend
on whether or not their expectations are realized.”
One person, however, who is quite confident the surge in confidence will continue, was President-elect Donald Trump, who in a late Tuesday night tweet, credited himself for the surge in optimism on Twitter, writing “Thanks Donald!”
The U.S. Consumer Confidence Index for December surged nearly four points to 113.7, THE HIGHEST LEVEL IN MORE THAN 15 YEARS! Thanks Donald!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2016
Trump’s latest tweet follows a similar one from Monday night when he tweeted that “The world was gloomy before I won – there was no hope. Now the market is up nearly 10% and Christmas spending is over a trillion dollars!”
The world was gloomy before I won – there was no hope. Now the market is up nearly 10% and Christmas spending is over a trillion dollars!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 26, 2016
As we asked on Monday, “we wonder what Trump will sat if/when Goldman Sachs stops rising and stocks tumble (“never gonna happen”, probably The Fed’s fault after all), but perhaps even more importantly, how does he feel about the $1.2 trillion of value he has erased from global capital markets (equity and debt) since his election?”
For now Trump is clearly eager to take credit for the surge in markets to record highs, as well as the associated surge in consumer confidence, both of which however have been driven by market hopes that Trump will reflate assets, something which was clearly lost on the latest UMichigan consumer confidence survey which showed US inflation expectations are the lowest on record. We doubt he will be as vocal when the hangover from the recent rally finally hits, unless of course, stocks manage to last the next four years without any corrections, an otherwise laughable prospect which however in this strange “new abnormal”, has to be taken quite seriously.