Friday Afternoon Biz-Econ Pick-me-ups

This was not a good day, and probably won't be a good weekend, for those who have been bad-mouthing the economy --

  • Oil is sliding down towards $62 per barrel.
  • August inflation was only 0.2%.
  • The Dow is less than 1.5% away from its all-time high.
  • Consumer confidence turned around, both in the University of Michigan and Ispos surveys. The Ipsos report was a total 180 from previous months (notice how the record reading got pushed by the AP writer into a very late paragraph):

    The RBC Cash Index, based on the results of the international polling firm Ipsos, showed confidence rebounding to 93.7 in early September.

    That marked an improvement from August, when consumer confidence sank to a three-month low of 74.8. At that time, the toll of soaring energy prices was blamed for weighing on consumers' psyches. The recent drop in energy prices, however, provided people with some relief and propelled confidence to its best reading since February.

    "The drop in pump prices is very visible to consumers and seems to have a huge impact," said Lynn Reaser, chief economist at Bank of America's Investment Strategies Group. "Consumers seem to view gasoline prices as a barometer to their overall well being."

    After surging past $3 a gallon in many areas, gasoline prices are now hovering around $2.62 a gallon nationwide, the Energy Department says.

    Economists believe that price relief figured prominently in the upswing in consumers' feelings about current economic conditions. This measure shot up to 118.8 in early September. That was up sharply from 92.1 in August and was the highest reading on record. Ipsos started the confidence index in 2002.

All of that fires ME up for the weekend.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.