Friday, October 3, 2014

Good economic news from Michigan universities

Once again I'm in an "I can't be all DOOM all the time" mood, so I'll recycle the concept behind Good economic news from Michigan and elsewhere from last May and post some good news from the perspective of business as usual, complete with the second appearance of Professor Farnsworth in a row.

I begin with this item from the University of Michigan that I first posted in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (MAVEN at Mars) on Daily Kos: Consumer sentiment strengthens in September.
ANN ARBOR—Consumer confidence posted a healthy gain in September due to more favorable prospects for the domestic economy as well as more favorable personal income expectations, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers.

The September reading, the second highest in the last seven years, points toward renewed strength in consumer spending. Conducted by the U-M Institute for Social Research since 1946, the Surveys monitor consumer attitudes and expectations.

While the September rebound brought confidence back to its highest levels since the Great Recession, confidence has repeatedly failed to move above this level, according to Richard Curtin, director of the surveys.
Note that it's not unalloyed good news; consumer confidence just won't move above a ceiling.  That's probably a good thing, as these are not business as usual times and the public probably senses that.

Next, something I'll post in this weekend's Overnight News Digest from Wayne State University: Economic expansion continues as Southeast Michigan Purchasing Managers Index climbs to 59.4.
DETROIT— Reflecting an on-going confidence and enthusiasm for the economy, the Southeast Michigan Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for September is 59.4, up from 54.8 in August.  A PMI value above 50 generally suggests economic growth.

“Significant increases in both the Production (61.4) and New Orders (65.7) indices contributed to the uptick in the PMI, and are promising indicators of continuing growth, said Nitin Paranjpe, a supply chain faculty member at Wayne State’s School of Business, who interpreted this month’s results.  It’s also interesting to note that though the Employment Index dropped from 60.3 in August, to 54.3 in September, its three-month average is very strong at 59.3.”

Almost 90 percent of respondents believe the Southeast Michigan economy will remain stable or become more stable over the next six months.
My response to all of the above is to enjoy it while it lasts.  After all, the first Ebola case diagnosed in the U.S. caused the stock market to tank on Wednesday and Thursday's trading was characterized by Reuters as Wall St. ends flat, small caps rebound in volatile day.  See, I'm already out of my "I can't be all DOOM all the time" mood, which makes me perversely pleased with myself.

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