A new report by The Conference Board, an economic research firm, has found that consumer sentiment surged this month to its highest level since December 2000, as the average American looks forward to the possibility of tax reform and stimulus, according to CNN Money.
“Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions improved considerably. Consumers also expressed much greater optimism regarding the short-term outlook for business, jobs and personal income prospects,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, in a release.
But while that confidence is a positive sign, experts point out that consumers don’t always get it right. In fact, The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index got a boost right after last November’s election —to its highest level since July 2007. Back then, a major recession hit in December 2007 and lasted until June 2009.
That’s not to say that the country is about to enter another recession, although some economists claim we are due for one. And whether or not you believe the U.S. is headed toward an economic downturn depends a lot on your party line, with Democrats believing “a deep recession was imminent” and Republicans saying that “a new era of robust economic growth was ahead.”
Of course, it all comes down to whether or not the American people are confident enough to spend their money — and much of that will depend on whether President Donald Trump is able to get his financial policies approved by Congress, including a reduction in corporate and individual taxes and some level of infrastructure spending. While economic growth at the 4 percent annualized rate that Trump had promised might be farfetched, some experts think 3 percent can be attained.