The economy may be stagnant, Washington may be in a political catfight and winter lingers in much of the country but for the American consumer these are the best times since William Jefferson Clinton was in the White House.
Consumer confidence soared to 125.6 in March according to the Conference Board index, the highest it has been since December 2000. Analysts had forecast a slight decline to 114.00 from February's 114.8.
In fact, except for the two and a half year period from May 1997 to December 2000 at the height of the dot-com bubble, when confidence was higher every month but one, it is the highest this sentiment gauge has been in 48 years since November 1969.
Consumers felt more optimistic about the near-term outlook for jobs, income and business. The number of people noting 'good' business conditions rose to 32.2 percent in March from 28.2 percent and those calling business conditions 'bad' dropped to 12.9 percent from 13.4 percent.
Equity averages have surged since the presidential victory of Donald Trump in November. The NASDAQ, Dow and S&P 500 have all climbed well beyond their previous highs. For the technology weighted Nasdaq it has conclusively broken its 17 year high of 5,132.52 of March 2000.
Even if only half of Americans are invested in the stock market, all, it seems can partake of its optimism.
Chief Market Strategist
WorldWideMarkets Online Trading