As we've been reporting of late, the consumer is in pretty good shape. In fact, he/she is doing virtually all of the heavily lifting on behalf of the economy these days.
Here's a look at how our proprietary index currently colors its consumer component:
As for our business component, well, not so green:
This week's data releases (so far) clearly confirm the above:
As we reported; same store sales, homebuilder sentiment, housing starts and permits all scored above expectations. However, industrial production (down year-on-year), the Empire State Manufacturing Survey (plunging outlook), and today's release of the widely-followed Duke University CFO survey (general optimism and capex rolling over) paint anything but a rosy picture.
Here's from the Duke survey:
Given historical early-warning signals, well, alas, this is definitely not your feel-good setup...