Here are two articles showing how far some people are willing to go to push the idea that the economy is improving. The ABC Consumer Confidence survey has been very accurate, while the Conference Board Survey is in "Fantasy Land".
ABC Consumer Comfort Index Drops Back To 2010 Low, 92% Say The Economy Is In "Bad Shape"
The April 19 Consumer Comfort Index number dropped back to -50, a 2010 low, just 4 points from its all-time low in 24 years of weekly polls, -54 in January 2009 and December 2008. 92% of those polled said the national economy’s in bad shape. The silver lining: "just 30 percent say it’s getting even worse, down from recent highs of 36 percent in January and 43 percent last September, much less a towering 82 percent as the economy fell into the abyss in October 2008." 25% said the economy’s getting better, while a little more than 4 in 10 say it’s staying the same: truly abysmal numbers when once look away from the wine and ambrosia flowing at the altar of Steve Jobs.
More data from the report:
Just 43 percent rate their own finances positively, down from 47 percent last week and well below the long-term average, 56 percent. Fewer than half have rated their own finances positively for 15 weeks straight, and for 97 of the last 103 weeks, a remarkable run of negative financial assessments.
Among the index’s two other components, 76 percent call this a bad time to spend money, 13 points worse than average; and, as noted, 92 percent say the economy’s hurting. In another sign of the economy’s long-running troubles, the last time fewer than three-quarters of Americans rated the economy negatively was in January 2008.
We fully expect Michigan Consumer Confidence, which focuses more on those who don't pay their mortgage to buy iPads, and/or commute to work on Wall and Broad street, to come out and record the widest spread ever between the two "confidence" indices. The schism in US society has never been quite as deep.