The U.S. consumer confidence
The U.S. consumer confidence climbed to a new 18-year high of 138.4 from an upwardly-revised prior high of 134.7 (was 133.4) in August and 127.9 in July. Analysts saw a previous 17-year high of a much lower 130.0 in February. All the major confidence surveys are oscillating around remarkably high levels. The consumer confidence components revealed new 18-year highs for both current conditions and expectations indexes, as well as the job strength diffusion index. For other September surveys, the Michigan sentiment index rose to 100.8 from a 7-month low of 96.2 in August and 97.9 in July to leave fluctuations just below the 14-year high of 101.4 in March. The IBD/TIPP index fell to 55.7 from a 58.0 cycle-high in August and 56.4 in July, but a lower 53.9 in June. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort index popped to a 60.2 new cycle-high in the third week of September, versus cycle-highs for the monthly averages of 58.6 in both July and August. Confidence, producer sentiment and small business optimism have climbed since October of 2016 thanks to a factory rebound, faster U.S. and global GDP growth with strength in trade despite a market focus on tariffs, fiscal stimulus, steady gains in home prices, high equity prices despite a volatile 2018, and limited inflation risk.