According to mood metrics from Prosper Insight & Analytics, consumers who are confident/very confident in the economy was up 7+ points in March, reaching a 15-year high. At 72.0%, confidence among small business owners is up from last month (62.2%) as well.
“The glass is certainly half full in 2017, based on Prosper’s confidence indicator among both consumers and small business owners. With optimism riding higher, we could see a lift in consumer spending and small business hiring, and the beginnings of a virtuous cycle where hiring leads to increased spending and further confidence gain,” said Deborah Weinswig, Managing Director of Fung Global Retail & Technology at Prosper.
At 85.3, the March Consumer Spending Forecast is up from last month (82.6), although flat (85.2) from last year.
According to the National Retail Federation annual survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, Americans will spend more than ever as they celebrate Easter nearly three weeks later this year than last. Spending for Easter is expected to reach $18.4 billion, up 6% over last year’s record $17.3 billion and a new all-time high in the survey’s 14-year history.
“President Trump’s promise of lower tax rates and fewer regulations likely underpin this confidence as well as the 4.7% unemployment rate. Certainly, there are some clouds on the horizon, including displaced employees related to the hundreds of announced retail store closings this year and a healthcare system that seems destined to derail. For today, optimism trumps pessimism, and as psychologist William James noted more than 100 years ago, our attitudes and beliefs about the future impact outcomes,” Weinswig opined.