Surely, Joe LaVorgna – elsewhere known as Groundhog Phil’s nemesis – should be allowed to monetize his epic sense of humor, captured most recently by this absolutely hilarious note just released by DB, seemingly with no editorial oversight.
January consumer confidence rose +3.2 points to 80.7 after the prior month was revised down -0.6 points to 77.5. This is the highest consumer confidence reading since August 2013 (81.8). In the details of the report, both current conditions (79.1 vs. 75.3) and future expectations (81.8 vs. 79.0) increased in the month with the former rising to a new post recession high. More importantly, consumers modestly upgraded their assessment of the labor market as both jobs plentiful (12.7 vs. 11.9) and jobs hard-to-get (32.6 vs. 32.9) improved in January. This bodes well for January employment which is reported next Friday. At present, we expect a +200k gain on nonfarm payrolls and a two-tenths decline in the unemployment rate to 6.5%. While weather should not have been a factor during the survey week, we will wait for the ADP report on Wednesday to make final tweaks to our forecast. In general, this morning’s confidence data bode well for current quarter consumption and likely reflect the ongoing massive improvement in household balance sheets that we have been highlighting for some time now as a key catalyst for growth in the coming quarters.
Yup: “ongoing massive improvement”, because the $77 or so trillion in household wealth is spread evenly among America’s 330 million people.
No comment on the UMich confidence from two weeks ago which missed by the most in eight years. Oh wait, we forgot that one was impacted by the weather. What we wonder is if Joe was laughing like a madman as he hit sent.