Granger causality between the stock market index (SMI) and the consumer confidence (sentiment) index (CSI) for the period between 2007 and 2013. While studying SMI-CSI relations, the model is calibrated for US data (S&P500 and the Michigan Survey Research Centre measures of consumer confidence) and shows causality is from the stock market index to consumer confidence.
This result is a consequence of the stock market index towards the consumers’ attitudes, as they consider the index to be the leading indicator of the future situation, regardless of whether they own stocks or not. They also maintain a degree of optimism regarding the future economic situation. Knowledge of the prevailing relationship between stock prices, on the one hand, and macroeconomic variables, such as consumption, investment and industrial production, on the other, is predominantly postulated in a variety of economic models.
Consumer confidence (sentiment) plays an important role both in macroeconomics and finance. It is based on the “information view” and it reflects the “subjective” of consumers’ state of mind that cannot be deducted from the economic variables. Caroll et al. find that higher levels of consumer confidence decrease consumption today relative to tomorrow for the USA, which implies improvements in consumers’ confidence stimulate consumption growth in the short run. Ludvigson found that consumer confidence indicators have some forecasting power for future labour income growth. Easaw et al. find that consumer confidence indices predict households’ consumption of durable goods in the UK. Read more......