Conflicting sentiment over the relative strength of the economy has pundits scratching their heads. While a monthly survey of advisors is down for the month of September, consumer confidence jumped to its highest level in seven months.
The Advisor Confidence Index, a benchmark that gauges advisor views on the U.S. economy and stock market, reports that advisor confidence fell in September, with the index slipping 1.76% from the August level to close at 94.79.
Three of the four components of the index, produced by AdvisorBenchmarking, a Guggenheim Investments affiliate, experienced a decrease over the prior month. The only component to rise was the “12-month economic outlook,” suggesting an expectation of short-term volatility. The “Current Economic Outlook,” “Six-Month Economic Outlook” and “Stock Market Economic Outlook” all fell.
However, consumers’ appraisal of present-day conditions improved in September. The Conference Board found those claiming business conditions are “good” edged up to 15.5% from 15.3%, while those saying business conditions are “bad” declined to 33.3% from 34.3%.
Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also more upbeat. Those stating jobs are “plentiful” rose to 8.3% from 7.2%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” edged down to 39.9% from 40.6%.