Friday, July 27, 2007

Consumer Confidence Index--July Highest in Five Months

It's official. The Reuters/University of Michigan final figure for July consumer confidence is 90.4 up from 85.3 in June.

What does this tell us about our financial future? Nothing really.

The survey was completed before this week's market turbulence sparked by Countrywide Financial's truth telling. The mortgage giant's 2d quarter net income declined 33%. Prime rated borrowers are slipping on making their payments. And this on the heels of the hedge fund wake up call last week. The deeper worry is the likely tightening of credit for everyone. Yes, everyone.

The question now is: will those happy upbeat consumers, accustomed to treating home equity like lottery winnings, continue to spend with reckless abandon? Or will they get a grip and understand the limits of their means?

Let's wait and see.