Perhaps you’ve read the latest reports about job growth and the falling unemployment rate. Several groups tasked with measuring consumer confidence believe recent improvements in the labor market may be responsible for sentiment clawing its way back to pre-recession levels.
From this morning’s San Francisco Chronicle:
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to an almost four-year high in the week through Feb. 19, and the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan measure of consumer sentiment increased to 75.3 in February, the sixth straight monthly gain and the longest advance since 1997.
The last time the University of Michigan index stayed above 75 for more than two months was in the period through January 2008, a month after the end of the previous expansion. Consumers are likely to grow more optimistic as the two-year recovery boosts employment and incomes further, said Dean Maki, chief U.S. economist at Barclays Capital Inc. in New York.
The rise in consumer confidence may be just what the building industry needs to encourage home buyers, according to Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities LLC in Stamford, Conn. In the story, Stanley says, “People are only going to buy a house if they feel confident they’re going to have a job and be able to make the mortgage payments.”
Just as simple as that, right?
If the studies are true, contractors shouldn’t be caught flat-footed. Perhaps now is a good time to consider an aggressive marketing strategy for the spring and summer. (More aggressive than normal, that is.) At the very least, if you have a company Facebook page or blog, be sure to post stories and comment on the encouraging signs of economic recovery.