But what may touch more Americans directly every day is the state of the American economy.
That’s the disconnect between data and everyday life: People are upset about rising costs at the fuel pump and the grocery store even when there’s plenty of very good economic news to be thankful for.
I’ve borrowed a lot of its language for this list of arguably good news that includes:
- US industrial output is racing forward above pre-pandemic levels.
- Auto manufacturing rebounded last month Factory production would have been stronger had it not been for the hiccups in the companies’ supply chain.
- Enviable corporate profits And big companies deal with supply chain problems, passing on high costs to customers and even increasing their profit margins along the way.
- The largest publicly traded companies have larger profit margins Today than before the pandemic, that probably shows in your retirement account.
- The Dow is up 17% this year The S&P 500 rose 25%. If you take a step back since the market crash in 2020, some averages have doubled.
- Workers have the upper hand. You’ve heard it’s called the “Big Resignation” – Americans are leaving their jobs in record numbers. In September, 4.4 million ships jumped, and economists say many are taking on better jobs with higher wages and starting bonuses.
- Paychecks are getting fatter after years of sluggish wage growth, especially for low-paid workers. Wage growth is approaching 5%.
- Americans save. Thanks to higher wages, Covid-19 stimulus checks and child tax credits, Americans have more than $2.3 trillion in savings since the crisis began. JP Morgan says its average checking account balance is 50% higher this year than in 2019.
- The economy adds jobs. Overall, 5.8 million jobs have been added this year.
There is certainly a contradiction here if the national mood is deteriorating while economic indicators are rising.
“Inflation worries grab all the headlines, but most other indicators are moving forward significantly,” Roman said in her report.
I offered two reasons why measures of consumer confidence do not reflect strong indicators:
- Americans are tired of the pandemic.
- They are bombarding every day with high prices at the grocery store and gas station. “Everyone drives and eats; not everyone has stock,” she said.
I asked Ariel Edwards Levy, CNN’s poll editor, how to display the national mood, and argued that polling defies easy junk food.
She said, “It is true that:
- a) Concerns about the economy are increasing,
- b) the economy is still not nearly as dominant as it was during the Great Recession,
- c) The prevailing American views of the economy at the moment are generally very poor and
- d) Views of economics are closely linked to partisanship.
The party component is an important component. Large parts of Republicans may have a worse view of the economy right now just because they ignore Biden. Democrats may have demonstrated the same behavior during the Trump administration.
The American Farm Federation noted that turkeys are more expensive this year, but also added an asterisk that they were shopping for turkeys to make those calculations before groceries stocked up for Thanksgiving.
The abundance of turkeys is something every American can be grateful for, even if there is concern that it costs a little bit higher.