Souring Attitudes

Since December, the Fed has gone from pricing in four hikes to two. But that’s not the only thing that has changed.

Consumer views regarding earnings expectations are down. So are their views about the stock market.

Most importantly, consumers are more worried about the jobs than they were in December. This is despite continued payroll growth and a falling unemployment rate.

Perhaps consumers don’t believe the numbers.

Neither do I. 

The Wall Street Journal discusses changing attitudes in its report How Americans’ Perceptions of the Economy Have Changed in Just Three Months.

Attitudes About Jobs

Attitudes1

Despite the falling unemployment rate, 53.7% believe jobs are not plentiful. Another 24.2% think jobs are hard to get. Those who believe jobs are plentiful declined 2.1 percentage points.

Attitudes About the Stock Market

Attitudes3

The percentage of people who think the stock market will decline this year has risen by 7.5 percentage points to 38.0%. Another 35.5% (down 0.7 percentage points), think stock will remain the same.

Attitudes About Income

Attitudes2

Since December, the number of people expecting their income will drop has risen by a net 2.1 percentage points to 12.5%. 70.3% expect the same.

Given the rise in the price of Obamacare and rents, at least 82.8% expect real incomes will decline.

So do I. Thank you Fed!

Mike “Mish” Shedlock