Each month, Bespoke runs a survey of 1,500 US consumers balanced to census.  In the survey, we cover everything you can think of regarding the economy, personal finances, and consumer spending habits.  We’ve now been running the monthly survey for more than two years, so we have historical trend data that is extremely valuable, and it only gets more valuable as time passes.  All of this data gets packaged into our monthly Bespoke Consumer Pulse Report, which is included as part of our Pulse subscription package that is available for either $39/month or $365/year.  We highly recommend trying out the service, as it includes access to model portfolios and additional consumer reports as well.  If you’re not yet a Pulse member, click here to start a 30-day free trial now!

In our just-published monthly Bespoke Consumer Pulse Report, we paid close attention to our proprietary financial and economic sentiment readings.  This was the first monthly survey that we conducted in full post-election, and we wanted to see how our survey data compared to the extremely bullish sentiment readings we’ve seen in standard economic indicators like Consumer Confidence, NIFB Small Business, NAHB Homebuilder Sentiment, etc.  Over the next few days and weeks we’ll be highlighting data from this month’s report that we found to be extremely insightful for the future path of the US economy.  Once again, if you’re not yet a Pulse member and want to see this month’s FULL report, click here to start a 30-day free trial now!

In today’s post we take a look at three charts that focus on consumers’ personal financial situations.  The first chart shows our proprietary tracker for a question we ask respondents about how their current income compares to their income one year ago.  After showing some deterioration last month, the quick improvement sequentially seems to have resolved itself and our reading for December hit its highest levels on record.  While income growth is still relatively modest overall, the new high after years in a range is a huge move.

income-vs-year-ago

The second chart shows the results from a survey question asking consumers if they’re concerned that they will lose their job.  As you can see, job loss concerns hit their lowest levels since August 2014 in our December Pulse survey.

job-concern

Finally, the last chart shows the results of three questions we ask regarding financial conditions.  All of the financial condition series we track made a big positive turn in December, rising to either multi-year highs or the best levels we’ve ever recorded depending on the specific question.  This is a significant turn of events that should have a positive impact on GDP in the coming quarters.

financial-conditions