According to bloomberg.com, the latest reading on Consumer Confidence rose to an 18 year high. Full employment, economic optimism and higher stock markets all likely playing role to boost confidence.
- U.S. consumer confidence rose to 137.9 from 135.3 in September
- The present conditions measure rose to 172.8 from 169.4, the best reading since December 2000
- 12-month inflation expectations rose to 4.8%
- Consumer expectations gauge rose to 114.6 , an 18 year high
The results of this report are significant and could point to a greater acceleration in consumer spending. Full employment is certainly a huge factor, as more people back to work equals more spending. Of note is the fact that such a high reading comes during a period of high stock market volatility and just ahead of the key midterm elections.
The strong reading shows that consumers believe the economy will continue to hum along at a sharp pace. Thus far, the effects of higher interest rates and the ongoing trade war with China do not appear to be having a major impact on consumer confidence.
Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, was quoted by bloomberg.com as stating “Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions remains quite positive, primarily due to strong employment growth.” She added “that consumers do not foresee the economy losing steam anytime soon. Rather, they expect the strong pace of growth to carry over into early 2019.”
Gold Market Reaction
The gold market did not show much of a reaction to the uptick in consumer confidence. Prices are down just over $4 per ounce at $1224.50. An increasing appetite for risk and sharply higher equity markets may be giving reason for pause today. Today’s declines may simply be some profit-taking and chart consolidation before the market attempts another leg higher.