Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Discover"-ing Slow Economic Improvement

"Discover" - the card people- do a monthly survey of consumer finances. The September data are out, published in Discover® U.S. Spending MonitorSM Up 2 Points in September.

The subtitle tells most of the tale: Confidence in the Economy Reaches Monitor High, But Consumer Spending Intentions Remain Flat.

Note that a "Monitor High" has limited meaning, as the survey has a 2 1/2 year history. Nonetheless, more and more data points are consistent with a troughing in the economic cycle associated with high joblessness. If Jimmy Carter put through a tax credit to encourage businesses to hire workers long after the 1973-5 recession ended, you can expect the current Democratic leaders to channel him and them some, with the major limitation what the financial markets will allow.

There is thus the possibility of a further delay in the projected shrinkage of the Federal budget deficit. The bond market would not likely take that well.

Copyright (C) Long Lake LLC 2009

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