Recently, Minyanville Media began its own survey of consumer confidence. Going through the numbers for the first time, one thing that we found so striking was that young people, the group that might have a true unemployment rate of 12%, are much more upbeat about the economy than their parents, the baby boomers who came of age in a significantly better economy and currently dominate the business world.
Part of this might just be human nature. But it is possible that today's young people could care less about owning a house and a car, as long as they find decent work with benefits and pay, and a cool smartphone. Or perhaps it's that the baby boomers have experienced so much turbulence that they have little but fear for their future after retirement.
What do you think about this generational gap? You can find our Consumer Confidence report at minyanville.com. We would love to hear your thoughts.
In macro news, last week the central banks of China and Australia took action to stimulate their countries' economies, but investors are starting to lose hope that the Fed or the European Central Bank will follow suit. This week, we will see a few different indicators of consumer sentiment. One thing to watch is the price of oil futures, which have been falling fast for about a month.
Wednesday, May retail sales numbers will come out. Sales receipts are expected to have declined 0.2%.
On Thursday, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the main metric of price inflation, will come out. Experts estimate that overall prices actually declined slightly in May after staying flat from March to April.
On Friday, The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey will probably show that consumers were just slightly more concerned about their financial condition and less inclined to buy big-ticket items in June.
Vincent Trivett is a New York-based multimedia journalist. He writes about the markets and the economy for Minyanville.com. Vincent is a recent graduate of CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism.