Confidence in the Economy is Mixed

Right now, there are good reasons to feel good about the U.S. economy, and where it’s headed. However, not everyone is convinced.

The latest numbers paint a portrait of an economy that is producing jobs, and ringing up sales.

Case in point: the latest jobs numbers from the government that were released last Friday. They report that the economy produced 292,000 jobs in December, after adding 252,000 in November. This is good.

The holiday retail sales figures were strong, and various readings of consumer confidence showed strength as well.

Then we hear from the nation’s corporate bosses, and the picture gets darker.

If the latest Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence is anything to go by, corporate chieftains are not bullish on the economy.

This important gauge dropped in the 4th quarter of 2015, after falling sharply in the 3Q15.

Chief executives are downbeat on the near-term economic prospects for both the U.S. and major European economies. They’ve been negative on emerging market economies for even longer, and remained so going into 2016.

So, it’s a mixed bag: consumers seem reasonably content – helped no doubt by the strong job market – but CEOs are sounding a cautionary note.

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