Wikipedia defines “consumer confidence”as “the economic indicator that measures the degree of optimism thatconsumers feel about the overall state of the economy...” St. Cloud homeowners who are contemplating selling their St. Cloud homes may not base their decisions on polls measuring public confidence levels—but when the climate is promising, it sure doesn’t hurt!
Wikipedia completes its “consumer confidence” definition with “….and their personal financial situation.” In fact, it’s well known that people answer pollsters’ questions largely based on their own situations. That’s why businesspeople of all stripes track the monthly University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index like hawks.
So – wow! Last week ended with news that upended what had seemed to be a less than sunny financial outlook. Strong job and sales numbers had seemed to be being overridden by worries about world trade troubles. The tariff back-and-forth between the U.S. and China had dominated business news for weeks. The stock market had registered a couple of days of headline-grabbing declines (although they’d been followed by less well-publicized rebounds). And gasoline prices were rising...
For those on the fence about whether now is the right time to make a major financial commitment like buying or selling a St. Cloud home, the economic atmospherics could have seemed to weigh on the side of waiting for a more favorable outlook.
Apparently, that isn’t how consumers view things. On Friday, the benchmark consumer confidence index registered not just an uptick, but an outright surge.
The Consumer Sentiment Index registered the highest score since 2004!
Many of the most-heeded commentators were taken by surprise. Reuters had predicted a nearly unchanged reading of 97.5—but the actual result jumped to 102.4. Similarly, the MarketWatch poll of economists was on the record as having forecast 97.1. The chief economist for the Surveys of Consumers summed up with “Consumers viewed prospects for the overall economy much more favorably…for both near and longer terms.”
When people feel that times are good, it’s a shot in the arm for all kinds of business ventures—and another reason why anyone thinking about buying or selling a home should take a serious look at this St. Cloud market. I hope you’ll call!
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