August 8, 2004

STEVE VERDON says the economy is slowing down. Mickey Kaus, on the other hand, isn’t so sure. Neither, apparently, are a lot of other people:

Consumer confidence surged during the past month to its highest level since the beginning of the year, with Americans feeling better about their own finances and more optimistic about the future despite renewed terror threats and rising oil prices.

Consumer confidence has been rising for the past four months as the economy has been on a solid path to recovery.

The AP-Ipsos consumer confidence index climbed to 104.8 in August, up from 92.0 in July, led by consumers’ perceptions of their own finances and optimism about the future.

On the other hand, Megan McArdle thinks the economy is softening and it’s very bad news for Bush. Who’s right? Beats me. But given the rapid pace of growth in the past few months, a bit of a slowdown might be a good thing for the country, if not for Bush, as it means that we don’t have to worry about inflationary pressures.

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