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Why "Consumer Confidence" Is The Most Manipulated Economic Indicator

• ZeroHedge.com
 
The propaganda machine's favorite subversive mechanism to instill confidence in the prevalent population, is by nudging none other than the Confidence Index itself. And indeed, over the past few months, the Conference Board and UMichigan indices have been on a straight upward slope. What better way to get Joe and Jane Sixpack out to the mall to spend, than to give them the impression that all their neighbors are out, doing just that (and buying 5 iPads in the process). Don't forget the US economy is based on reckless spending and credit, and the Sixpacks love that, especially if they don't have to pay their mortgage ever again (as Obama told them to do). Yet the Consumer Index is nothing but just another massive scam. To wit: observe the ABC Consumer Comfort index, a representation of consumer "confidence" which according to many is much more detailed, due to its larger sampling size, and more up to date, due to its weekly updates, yet one which, refusing to drink the Kool Aid has never once been mentioned on the biggest propaganda channel of all, CNBC. Yesterday, the latest ABC numbers came out, and they were a stunner: at -49, the index is barely a few points away from all time record lows, and well into deep recession territory. In fact, the only confidence consumers can have, is that there is absolutely nothing predictive about the CONsumer indices out there: the spread between the ABC and the administration darling's Conference Board just hit a record high, as see on the chart below. In fact, it has gotten so difficult to sway popular opinions with these simplistic methods of subliminal control, that even Goldman Sachs is concerned about the utility of such indices going forward. Goldman's Jan Hatzius, in discussing Consumer Confidence, notes: "Since the monthly spending figures are noisy estimates of the true underlying trend, it does make sense to put some weight on confidence alongside actual spending when trying to gauge the outlook for consumption. This still points to a U-shaped rather than V-shaped recovery in spending." If after reading this, you still think that consumer indices are indicative of anything at all you probably were one of those who did buy 5 iPads over the past month.

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