While I'm actually in a doomy mood, I'm just not up to posting something appropriately pessimistic. Instead, I'm going to update Good economic news from Michigan universities with the latest good economic news. I'm in need of cheering up after tonight's election results.
I begin with the national picture from the University of Michigan: Consumer sentiment in October highest in seven years, posted October 31, 2014.
ANN ARBOR—Consumer confidence posted its third consecutive monthly gain in October, rising to its highest level since July 2007, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers.Trick or Treat! Hey, a treat!
Conducted by the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR) since 1946, the Surveys monitor consumer attitudes and expectations.
"Consumers have been gradually regaining their economic footing in the past several months, with confidence rising to the highest level since the start of the Great Recession," said Richard Curtin, director of the surveys. "This is not the first time such a strong rebound has occurred, but this time it appears to have more forward traction. Consumers have not overreacted to the negative news of a global slowdown or Ebola, nor to the positive news of lower gas prices. Instead, consumers have kept their focus on improved job and wage prospects. Finally, five years after the start of the recovery, consumers have begun to adopt the expectations and behaviors that have driven past expansions."
The October gain was due to improved personal finances as well as a more favorable outlook for the overall economy, according to Curtin. Indeed, consumers reported the most favorable personal financial expectations as well as the most positive year-ahead outlook for the national economy in the past seven years. What the survey did not find was any negative impact on confidence from the global economic slowdown, military conflicts, or Ebola. None of these issues was mentioned by more than a few respondents; instead, respondents emphasized improved wage and employment prospects due to a stronger economy. Gains in holiday spending are expected to be the best in several years, benefiting from higher confidence as well as falling gas prices at the pump.
Next, Wayne State University with the local economic picture in Southeast Michigan Purchasing Managers Index remains strong in October, finishing at 54.7 , posted November 3, 2014.
DETROIT— The Southeast Michigan Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for October is 54.7, down slightly from September’s 59.4. A PMI value above 50 generally suggests economic growth.Professor Farnsworth approves in general, although I'm sure that he's not too keen on Ebola.
“We continue to enjoy a bright economic outlook, said Timothy Butler, associate professor of supply chain management at Wayne State’s School of Business, who interpreted this month’s results. Key indicators for growth include the New Orders Index, the Finished Goods Inventory Index and the Employment Index. In fact, the Employment Index has remained over 50 since July 2012.”
Purchasing managers’ confidence continues to be up, with 93.4 percent believing the Southeast Michigan economy will remain stable or become more stable over the next six months, while only 6.7 percent anticipate a less stable economy.
Respondents reported prices were up for resins, aluminum and steel for the month, while oil and copper were down in price. They also noted the Ebola crisis disrupted air transportation and reported travel cost increases.
Follow over the jump for economic reports from Florida, Colorado, and Georgia.
University of Florida: UF: Floridians' growing consumer confidence falters just a smidge
October 28, 2014
Consumer sentiment among Floridians dropped a point in October to 82, the first decline in the index since May, according to a monthly University of Florida survey.University of Colorado: Colorado employment growth expected to continue into 2015, says CU-Boulder report
“This decline is not likely indicative of a trend,” said Chris McCarty, director of UF’s Survey Research Center in the Bureau of Economic and Business Research, which conducts the survey. “Given that the stock market has improved late in the month and the decline was only a point, we don’t view the drop as significant.”
Of the five components used in the survey -- three declined, one increased, and one stayed the same. Survey-takers’ overall perception whether their personal finances are better now than a year ago fell four points to 71, while their expectations of being better off financially one year from now fell one point to 82.
The survey shows that confidence in the national economy over the coming year fell one point to 78, but it rose a point to 82 when respondents were asked to consider U.S. economic conditions over the next five years.
Finally, respondents’ perception as to whether it is a good time to buy big-ticket item, such as a washing machine, stayed the same at 96.
October 22, 2014
Employment expansion in Colorado is expected to continue through the fourth quarter of 2014 and into the first quarter of 2015, according to a report by the University of Colorado Boulder, released today by Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler.University of Georgia: Minorities energize U.S. consumer market, according to UGA Multicultural Economy report
The Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators Report is prepared by the Business Research Division at CU-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business using data from the secretary of state’s central business registry.
During the third quarter, a total of 27,640 new businesses filed with the secretary of state’s office, marking the fastest growth in filings since at least 2006. The third-quarter filings are an increase from 24,601 in the second quarter and an increase from the same period last year.
Part of the increase was spurred by a “fee holiday” implemented by Gessler July 1, which reduces online new business filing costs to $1 from $50, according to the report.
A special section focused on Asian-American buying power accompanies the Selig Center's study
September 30, 2014
The buying power of minority groups in the U.S. has reached new heights and continues to outpace cumulative inflation, according to the latest Multicultural Economy Report from the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia Terry College of Business.I feel a bit better, even though all of the above consists of good news for business as usual. I should know better, as these are not business as usual times.
The rising trend in minority buying power signals an opportunity for tailored marketing, according to Jeff Humphreys, director of the Selig Center and author of the report. For example, at $1.3 trillion the 2014 Hispanic market is larger than the economy of all but 15 countries in the world.
The report breaks down the economy by racial and ethnic affiliation, supplying buying power estimates for African Americans, Asians, Native Americans and Hispanics. It also includes state-by-state buying power projections, providing businesses with a blueprint for market growth across the U.S.
I'll be back with my election coverage for Examiner.com. Stay tuned.