Bubble watch: California consumer confidence falls again

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Bubble Watch” digs into trends that whitethorn bespeak economical and/or lodging marketplace troubles ahead.

Buzz: California shoppers look antsy astir this summer’s reinvigorated coronavirus, sending 1 user assurance scale down for the 2nd consecutive month.

Source: The Conference Board’s monthly polling of shoppers, which creates assorted user assurance indexes, including California’s.

The Trend

The wide statewide scale was 118.4 for August, down from a revised 119.2 a period earlier and 129.3 successful June. This scale had risen successful 5 of 2021’s archetypal six months.

Yes, it’s acold amended than the lockdown-scarred 66.8 speechmaking of a twelvemonth ago. California’s assurance scale averaged 113 successful the 5 years earlier the pandemic.

Now let’s look astatine 2 measures wrong the scale …

1. California consumers’ presumption of existent conditions scored 143.8, up from 134.7 a period earlier and good supra 40 a twelvemonth earlier. This measurement averaged 141 successful 2015-19.

2. It’s the aboriginal that’s peculiarly cloudy. Shoppers’ outlook statewide scored 101.5, down from 108.9 the erstwhile period and the lowest speechmaking since January. It’s besides an summation from 84.6 a twelvemonth earlier and an mean 94 successful 2015-19.

The Dissection

Note that California consumers are not the lone ones worrying.

The Conference Board tracks 7 different states — Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan — and their wide assurance scale fell successful each of them successful August.

Next, look wrong these authorities indexes.

Current conditions? Better successful 3 states for the period — Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania. Over 12 months, existent optimism is up successful each seven.

Expectations? Up lone successful Michigan successful the month. Over 12 months, optimism for the aboriginal roseate successful New York, Florida and Illinois.

The user position for the full federation is similar. The wide U.S. user assurance scale was 113.8 successful the month, down from 125.1 successful July and up from 86.3 a twelvemonth ago.

Other views

The polling besides asks U.S. shoppers astir their presumption connected immoderate cardinal economical variables. Some highlights …

National outlook for jobs, adjacent six months? Down — 23% of consumers spot much jobs six months from present vs. 25.5% a period earlier. It was 29.9% a twelvemonth agone and averaged 17.4% successful 2015-19.

Inflation complaint a twelvemonth from now? Up — 6.8% complaint vs. 6.6% a period earlier. It was 5.8% a twelvemonth agone and averaged 4.8% successful 2015-19.

As for 2 large purchases, the nationalist presumption …

Plans to bargain a location wrong six months? Down — 6.2% vs. 6.4% a period earlier. It was 5.8% a twelvemonth agone and averaged 6.1% successful 2015-19.

Car acquisition plans? Down — 10.8% vs. 12.1% a period earlier. It was 10.1% a twelvemonth agone and averaged 12.6% successful 2015-19.

How bubbly?

On a standard of zero bubbles (no bubble here) to 5 bubbles (five-alarm warning) … THREE BUBBLES!

At slightest consumers — present and nationwide — are starting to consciousness that something’s a spot retired of whack, economically speaking. That could chill their temptations to overspend and/or overpay connected assorted purchases.

Jonathan Lansner is concern columnist for the Southern California News Group. He tin beryllium reached astatine jlansner@scng.com

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