Its not just people in the street that are starting to feel the pinch. Official data says it too – so it must be true.
We’ve noticed price increases in many areas (except housing). Certainly petrol and other oils are up by at least 10% this year so far. And food prices seem to have followed suit. The fringe benefit is that now when you go into a shop you might get some attention instead of disdain and a look that says “just wait and I’ll see if I decide to help you”. In Ireland builders are even returning phone calls now!
And recent data from the US confidence indicies shows that people are pretty pessimistic about the outlook. The smoke and mirrors from regulators and policy makers like the Fed are not working as hoped.
According to the Conference Board, their Consumer Confidence Index fell to a level of 57.2 in May, down from April’s figure of 62.8. It’s now at its lowest level for 16 years, though summer should be brightening spirits. They blame the pessimism on the short-term outlook for the US economy as well as weakening business and job conditions – well at least they’re beginning to face reality. The University of Michigan’s Index tell the same story hitting a 28-year low in May.