Americans are feeling better in general about financial
matters, with a discernible uptick in consumer sentiment.
According to a new survey conducted by the company Ipsos,
consumer confidence has reached the 60.7 mark out of an
index topping off at 100.
That number is only the latest of a series of index results
showing an improved national attitude via the economy, and
is a full 10 points higher than the confidence level as seen
last year during the worst of the pandemic.
The survey, released by Ipsos and the publication Forbes
Advisor, even showed an increase in optimism among those
who are currently unemployed, with a positive index result
of 55.3, compared with a previous response of around 49.
The consumer confidence levels, perhaps not surprisingly,
are significantly higher at 62.8 for those who are currently
employed, and 61.8 for part-time workers.
The trend lines for all three categories, full-time workers,
part-time workers, and those not currently employed, have
all increasingly improved since early January.
Those trend lines in many ways reflect reality, with only
547,000 jobless claims filed in late April, down from 4.5
million in the spring of 2020.
The overall trend, reports the Forbes Advisor, “signals that
Americans believe there are brighter days ahead.”
The latest survey comes as Covid-19 vaccinations are
becoming more widely available and a federal stimulus check
of $1,400 on average has been mailed to millions of
Anticipating a more buoyant rest of the year, respondents to
the Ipsos/Forbes survey believe by a 62% to 32% margin
that the economy will “rebound quickly once restrictions are
lifted on businesses.”
A somewhat smaller 55% of respondents said they were in
favor of fully reopening the economy as soon as possible,
even if the pandemic is not fully contained. Last summer 40%
of respondents said they were in favor of an immediate
The Gross Domestic Product this spring is nearly at the
same level as it was in the months before the Covid-19
shutdown, according to a new report just issued by the
That report is showing that the GDP grew by a healthy
6.4% between January and March of this year, just a slight
1% less than where it stood in the robust pre-pandemic
days of late 2019.
Driving the new numbers is a 4.9% jump in the purchase
of goods over late last year; a 2.1% increase in services;
and a 1.3% increase in business investment.
The latest Commerce Department numbers, say the Wall
Street Journal, are evidence of “what is shaping up to be a
rapid, consumer-driven recovery this year.”
Consumer spending in the first quarter of this year, adds
the New York Times, is helping to “set the stage for what
could be the fastest economic growth in decades.”
A separate set of numbers released by the Commerce
Department measures the economic recovery through
the prism of filings for jobless benefits. Those numbers
reached a historic peak last summer at just below 1.5
million. As of late April, the filings are down to 553,000.
The nation’s unemployment rate has dropped from just
under 15% last April, the highest since the depths of the
Great Recession, to exactly 6% today.
Economists looking at the Commerce Department figures
say they are indicative of the kind of growth that will
probably only increase for the rest of 2021.
But those same economists say they worry that the
robust growth could cause the economy to overheat, with
a measurable increase in consumer prices.
In a statement, Gina Raimondo, the Secretary of
Commerce, said, “America is moving forward, but we can’t
Raimondo said continued growth will be spurred by “big,
bold actions that invest in our families, our workforce, and
our infrastructure,” allowing the U.S. to “out-compete on
the global stage for decades to come.”
CONSTRUCTION: CONSTRUCTION REPORTER
SHOWING SIGNS OF 2021
By Garry Boulard, Construction Reporter
SHOWS MARKED SPRING
By Garry Boulard, Construction Reporter
2021 Construction Reporter, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction & Forwarding is Prohibited.
VOULME 01 | ISSUE 42