Consumer Confidence Shook In November, Markets Welcomed New Treasury Secretary

The financial markets did not respond in this quasi-euphoric context to the publication in November of a very sharp drop in consumer confidence, according to the Conference Board Index. Thus, after hitting 101.4 in October, this index came out at 96.1 against a market consensus of 98.

The decline coincides with the outbreak of Covid-19 cases in the United States, which has led to new travel restriction measures in many states and cities around the country (California, New York, Chicago, etc.). The pandemic has crossed the 12.5 million case mark in the United States, and the death toll has now reached 259,000.

In addition, the regional manufacturing index of the Richmond Fed fell to 15 in November alone, compared to a consensus of 25 and a level of 29 a month earlier, indicating a fairly marked slowdown in expansion in this area.

On the other hand, the US real estate market remained competitive in September, with prices on the rise. So, compared to August, the FHFA real estate price index rose 1.7 percent (consensus +0.9 percent). In the 20 largest cities, the S&P Case-Shiller real estate price index, for its part, increased by 1.3 percent, far more than expected (consensus +0.5 percent on the ’20 -City’ index adjusted compared to the previous month). Over one year, with the exception of changes, this index rose by 7 percent over one year.

U.S. investor have welcomed the appointment of Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary as she remained outspoken  for more fiscal support in recent months especially after stoppage of the federal assistance initiatives that was introduced in March to overcome the impact of Covid-19.

Thus the first portion of technical unemployment benefits ended in August and the other component ended in January. Janet Yellen is generally seen as a politically consensual alternative, likely to gain support for a new budget package from Republicans in the Senate.

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The appointment of Mrs. Yellen, a “dove” in monetary policy, is also hailed by the markets that expect to implement a new strategy to help the American economy, as the recovery is threatened by the second wave of coronavirus.

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