BANDON, Ore. — CNW Research reported this week that its two consumer confidence indicators produced contradictory economic outlooks. While the firm’s Jitters Index showed that “home-centric” concerns are easing, its measurement of consumer confidence regarding the overall U.S. economy has slipped every 10-day period since the first week of September.
“Contradictory? Not really,” CNW’s Art Spinella wrote in his firm’s monthly newsletter. “Consumers look at two distinctly different economic pictures — their own and their neighbors. CNW studies have shown an attitude exists that says, ‘I’m doing OK, but from all I read and hear, the country’s going to hell in a hand basket.’”
Spinella added that new-car purchases are typically made based on home-centric considerations. And in November, the firm’s Jitter Index showed that consumers feel that things are getting better. And compared to a year ago and October, the index is down by more than 10% and more than 2%, respectively.
There were other indicators that consumers are feeling good about their current economic situations. Same-store sales at new-car dealership, for instance, were up approximately 4% from a year ago. Floor traffic was also up nearly 19% from a year ago in November.
The only negative is that closing rations declined 7.65% from a year ago. Spinella said the drop is an indicator that showrooms are filling up with shoppers who aren’t ready to make an acquisition.
CNW also looked at November’s subprime approvals, which were well ahead of a year ago (16.7% from a year ago). Compared to October, approvals remained virtually unchanged, declining less than 1%.
“Based on the early sales reports accumulated by CNW, full-month sales should come in at 16.8 to 17 million [on a True Delivery Rate basis], putting the full-year at around 16.44 million units — assuming December has a year comparable to 2013,” Spinella wrote.