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August 1, 2007
Consumer Confidence Soars in July
You may notice that the Democrats aren't talking much about the economy these days. That's because unemployment is near record lows, interest rates are stable and may start falling again soon. Inflation seems not to be much affected by the rise in oil prices (which hit another record yesterday at more than $78 per barrel at one point). And even though the real estate market is in flux (with real problems in the sub-prime lending business), the American people seem to have taken that in stride.
In fact, Americans are more optimistic about the economy now than they have been at any time for the last six years:
Consumer confidence in the U.S. jumped more than forecast in July to the highest level in almost six years, suggesting the June slowdown in spending could be temporary. Also on the rise are wages which rose 0.4% last month. More money in people's pockets gives them confidence for the future.
The New York-based Conference Board said its index of confidence soared to 112.6 from a revised 105.3 in June. Economists had expected a reading of 105 for last month.
In another report Tuesday, the Commerce Department reported that consumer spending rose 0.1 percent in June, the smallest gain in nine months and down from a 0.5 percent increase in May.
"The consumer took a breather in June," said Julia Coronado, senior economist at Barclays Capital Inc. in New York. "It was more of a temporary pullback. Income and wage gains look to be on track, which should help lead to a bounce-back in the second half."
Is it any wonder the Democrats seem obsessed with spinning defeat in Iraq?