On Slow Climb, Gallup Finds Economic Confidence Best Since ’08

Despite slow jobs growth and lagging market indicators, American economic confidence may actually be at its highest level since 2008, a Gallup poll released this week finds. 

In its weekly polling of American confidence in the economy, Gallup found a confidence index rating of -16—while negative, it is still far above the -54 rating seen in mid-2001. 

“Americans’ economic confidence has been on a long, steady climb out of the doldrums it fell into last summer, and the record-high -16 reached last week is certainly positive on a relative basis,” Gallup wrote in its report. “However, the pace of improvement has slowed in recent months, meaning it could be months before the index is in fact positive.” 

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The Gallup Economic Confidence Index is an average of two components of consumers’ psychology: Americans’ ratings of current economic conditions and their perceptions of whether the economy is getting better or getting worse, Gallup writes. 

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • Perhaps better said:  “While negative, consumer confidence is the least negative since 2008.”

    This is all great if the result is the best total number of case number assignments also since 2008.  Since calendar year 2009 had over 137,000 case numbers assigned and after reporting on three months of this calendar year there are fewer than 20,000 case numbers assigned so far this calendar year, we have a long way to go to catch up to the 2009 pace.

    Yet in calendar 2008 when consumer confidence was wretched, case numbers assigned exceeded 150,000.

    So here is the question, what relationship does consumer confidence have to HECM origination?  While consumer confidence during last calendar quarter appears to be better than for the first calendar quarter of 2011, total case number assigned are down 19% this year over last.

    The earliest dependable sign that endorsements are turning around are case numbers assigned each month.  Lately, however, even that concept is being somewhat challenged due to the decreasing percentage of applications with case numbers assigned being “pulled through” to endorsement.  

    Shannon Hicks over at HECM World had a great picture of what we need to be doing when so much information is available to us.  He used the term modern pilots call “situational awareness.”  Flying “The Spirit of St. Louis” is much different than flying a F-22 Raptor.  What was very important in the past when so little could be detected, is much different than today when so much more information is available for analysis.  Yet our job is not to be tied to analysis of any determinant but rather to be situationally aware while on the outlook for more business.

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