Trump-mania: California Consumer Confidence Hits 9-Year High
As voters, Californians rejected Donald Trump. As consumers, they love him.
The Conference Board, which measures consumer confidence, reports that consumers in the Golden State are more confident that they have been since 2007, before the Great Recession.
The Orange County Registernotes:
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index for California rose in December to its highest level since October 2007.
This was the first month the continuous polling that tracks shoppers optimism in eight big states and across the nation had fully reflected Trump’s upset win in the November presidential election. Exit polling showed the economy’s future was a major decision-changing topic for presidential voters across the nation.
In California, where presidential votes went heavily in favor of Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, confidence fell for two months in advance of the election, pushing the state’s optimism to a nine-month low in October. The index then rose in November and December in the largest two-month surge in nearly two years.
The Conference Board also reported a surge in consumer confidence nationwide:
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had increased considerably in November, posted another gain in December. The Index now stands at 113.7 (1985=100), up from 109.4 in November.
“Consumer Confidence improved further in December, due solely to increasing Expectations which hit a 13-year high (Dec. 2003, 107.4),” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “The post-election surge in optimism for the economy, jobs and income prospects, as well as for stock prices which reached a 13-year high, was most pronounced among older consumers. Consumers’ assessment of current conditions, which declined, still suggests that economic growth continued through the final months of 2016. Looking ahead to 2017, consumers’ continued optimism will depend on whether or not their expectations are realized.”
It is unclear how much of the surge is directly due to Trump’s victory, as consumer confidence decreased in some states where Trump won, such as Pennsylvania and Michigan, though confidence levels in both states were still at historically high levels, the Register reports.
In addition, there may be independent reasons for Californians to feel confident. Rains, for example, may have encouraged Californians to believe the state’s five-year drought is ending.
Still, the state seems to be experiencing a “Trump bump,” along with the rest of the nation, as consumers anticipate an end to the onslaught of federal regulation and a more favorable climate for entrepreneurship, economic growth and job creation.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.