Nolte: Economic Confidence Plummets to 8-year Low in May

A Couple Stressing over Finances
Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

We now have two separate surveys that show economic confidence plummeting in the month of May.

There’s the University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment, which collapsed 9.4 percent in the first weeks of May to an 11-year low:

“Consumers’ assessment of their current financial situation relative to a year ago is at its lowest reading since 2013, with 36 percent of consumers attributing their negative assessment to inflation,” Hsu said.

There is evidence that high inflation is destroying demand by pricing consumers out of big purchases.

“Buying conditions for durables reached its lowest reading since the question began appearing on the monthly surveys in 1978, again primarily due to high prices,” Hsu said.

Also released Friday is Rasmussen Report’s ongoing economic confidence survey, which plummeted 20 points from April. Rasmussen points out that “May’s decline reverses two consecutive months of gains.”

Also: “The index is now at its lowest point in eight years.”

So what changed? How did we go from two months of improving economic confidence to something so sharply opposite that “reversal” hardly seems like a strong enough description?

Rasmussen speculates the “cause as (a) continuing inflation and (b) the March-April numbers getting an artificial boost from early tax refunds, followed by a sharp decline when millions of late filers discovered they were going to owe the IRS money this year.”

That, of course, makes perfect sense. I would only add the following: The spike in gas prices this month was shocking. We’re used to gradual increases. This month’s jump was something entirely different. One Saturday, local gas cost me $3.83 a gallon. When I returned to the gas station less than a week later, the price had jumped to $4.19.

That is a 36-cent jump.

Gas prices are a barometer by which we all judge the state of things. A price spike of that amount, which  quickly combined with the psychological blow of seeing the price jump over four dollars tells the American people something is wrong, something is not under control, and it makes us uneasy.

What makes us most uneasy is the man at the presidential helm, a heartless, left-wing extremist who hardly knows where he is, who shouts like a madman, and who kills oil drilling leases in an obvious attempt to keep gas prices soaring.

President Joe Biden’s administration ceased all oil and gas leases to Alaska’s Cook Inlet and the Gulf of Mexico as of the night of Wednesday, May 11. (iStock/Getty Images, BNN Edit; Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images, BNN Edit)

How many people included in these surveys saw those empty shelves where there used to be plenty of baby formula?

Empty shelves in the infant formula aisle in a Virginia store display a sign limiting the quantity each customer may buy--if they're in stock. (Breitbart News)

Empty shelves in the infant formula aisle in a Virginia store display a sign limiting the quantity each customer may buy–if the products are in stock. (Breitbart News)

Inflation is getting worse. The supply chain crisis is getting worse. Gas prices that are already high are skyrocketing. Violent crime marches on. The lawlessness outside the homes of five Supreme Court justices is allowed to continue. The border is wide open, and this invasion of illegal aliens is taxing our already taxed housing, energy, baby formula, and law enforcement resources. All the while, we’re spending $40 billion to protect Ukraine’s borders.

Basically, we have a malevolent government unquestionably determined to drive this country into a ditch. The realization of that truth freaks people out more than anything else.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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