Daily Revolt

May 11, 2007

Fuel Fears Hamper Consumer Confidence

More bad economic news, courtesy of George Bush:
Consumer confidence was essentially stuck in a rut as worries about whether gasoline prices will move higher made people feel anxious about the economy's prospects and their own financial positions.

The worst part is uncertainty about our futures:
"Although employment is mostly stable, there are many uncertainties on the horizon," Yamarone said. "Will energy prices go even higher? How is the housing slump going to play out? It is the fear of the unknowns that is coloring peoples' feelings."

We are living for today; tomorrow be damned:
A measure tracking consumers' sentiments on current conditions rose to 113.2 in May, up from 99 in April. Economists attributed this pickup to a mostly healthy — albeit slowing — jobs market and the recent string of record-high closings logged on Wall Street.

"People are hanging in there. There's a sense like things are OK for now but there seems to be a gnawing feeling — can it last?" said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group.

"People are a bit wary of how long either the economy or their own personal finances can hold up in the face of higher gasoline prices and a weaker housing market. But so far, it is more of a fear factor than a reality show," Hoffman added.

We are spending ourselves into disaster:
Economic growth slowed to a near crawl of a 1.3 percent pace in the January-to-March quarter, the weakest showing in four years. The main culprit: housing slump, which caused some businesses to cut back on their spending. Consumers, however, showed resilience and managed to keep on spending, preventing the economy from losing even more speed.

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