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Soft Economic Growth Vs. Household Confidence - 7/7/15

For many years now, Americans have heard that the performance of their economy can be characterized as lackluster.  It appears that more Americans have come to terms with that reality.  That’s how the people at the University of Michigan who manage the Survey of Consumers are characterizing the disconnect between soft economic growth and improving household confidence. 

A recent report indicated that the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index expanded to ninety six point one in June, the second highest reading in eight years.  According to Richard Curtin, director of the University of Michigan’s Survey of Consumers, the gain in confidence is "due to both an improving economy from the consumer perspective, but it also may reflect the acceptance of the diminished economic prospects in the years ahead." 

As reported by Bloomberg, each successive economic expansion since the nineteen nineties has been weaker.  The U.S. economy actually shrank during the first three months of the year for a second consecutive year, but consumers are taking mediocre performance in stride.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.