Posts Tagged ‘consumer confidence’

U.S. Slips in World Competitive Rankings, per Swiss-Based IMD Competitiveness Center

May 31st, 2019 Comments off



Still image from video, posted further below.

The world is not about to come to an end.  But the U.S. has gone from 1st to 3rd in the IMD World Competitiveness global rankings.


CNBC noted these bullets from IMD’s research.

  • For the first time in nine years, Singapore surpassed the United States and Hong Kong to clinch the title of the world’s most competitive economy, according to IMD’s 2019 World Competitiveness Rankings.
  • Singapore’s immigration laws, advanced technological infrastructure, availability of skilled labor and efficient ways to set up new businesses helped it advance to the top, the Switzerland-based business school found.

In a year of high uncertainty in global markets due to rapid changes in the international political landscape as well as trade relations, the quality of institutions seem to be the unifying element for increasing prosperity,” Arturo Bris, an IMD professor and director of the World Competitiveness Center, said in a statement, per Fox Business.

What neither Fox nor CNBC noted is that China and Canada have slipped in this index too.


To determine the results, the study incorporates 235 indicators from each of the ranked 63 economies, taking into account statistics like unemployment, Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and government spending on health and education, as well as issues like social cohesion, corruption and globalization.

The Asia-Pacific region emerged as a contender for competitiveness, with 11 out of 14 economies either improving or holding their ground, led by Hong Kong and Singapore. Indonesia leaped 11 spots to 32nd — the biggest improvement in the region, thanks to increased more efficiency in the government sector and improved infrastructure.

Conversely, competitiveness across Europe has struggled to gain ground. Uncertainty over Brexit sent the United Kingdom down three spots, from 20th to 23rd. The biggest climber for the region was Ireland, which rose five places to 7th as business conditions improved.

The top 20 most competitive economies, according to IMD.

  1. Singapore
  2. Hong Kong SAR
  3. United States
  4. Switzerland
  5. United Arab Emirates
  6. Netherlands
  7. Ireland
  8. Denmark
  9. Sweden
  10. Qatar
  11. Norway
  12. Luxembourg
  13. Canada
  14. China
  15. Finland
  16. Taiwan, China
  17. Germany
  18. Australia
  19. Austria
  20. Iceland

Bloomberg framed it through the lens of India’s global ranking in their video below.



The entire list is shown below.



What these sources should note is that U.S. is significantly ahead of China, Canada, Germany and other larger global competitors.  The U.S. dwarfs Russia in competitiveness by some 42 spots in this ranking.

Let’s note that in October 2018 a different report showed the U.S. ‘returning’ to the top spot.



The point in part is that the Daily Business News on MHProNews isn’t examining which of these reports is better.  One global research report showed the U.S. rising under the “Trump economy,” another now claims the nation is sliding modestly. Either way, the U.S.A. is near the top.

At the bottom of the list is Mongolia and Venezuela.  Imaging, Venezuela – once one of the most prosperous nations in Latin American, with huge oil reserves – among other natural resources – a decade of socialism has put it at the bottom of the barrel.

The U.S. isn’t perfect, but it is better than many other options.  Such research should remind business professionals of that reality.  The overall economic climate is the best in years, as consumer confidence, low unemployment, and other measures reflect. The graphic below from our recent analysis report that focused on industry supplier, Patrick (PATK).


Patrick is not alone to point to the robust econmy, notably taking off since the election of President Donald J. Trump. These are positive background facts that ought to point to far more robust manufactured home (MH) sales. Why isn’t MH doing better?


The manufactured home industry – in this overall fine economic climate – ought to be doing far better, given the millions of affordable housing units needed.


New 2019 U.S. Housing Infographic with Manufactured Home Data Points


There is a mixed bag influencing the industry, which presents challenges and opportunities in disguise. To learn more, see the related reports, further below. That’s this afternoon’s edition of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)



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Near All-Time Record, Confidence Means MORE Sales and Business

October 2nd, 2018 Comments off



When consumers are confident, they tend to buy more.


Who says? 

The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) is based on the concept that if consumers are optimistic, they tend to purchase more goods and services,” said Investopedia.

U.S. consumer confidence rebounded in April and new home sales increased more than expected in March, pointing to underlying strength,” said Reuter’s on April, 24, 2018, in a trend that has continued into the summer and fall.

Independent producers of manufactured homes have made similar statements, one that the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has often noted in their reports.

So it is no wonder that all housing sales are rising, including manufactured home sales.



Double-Digit HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Growth In July 2018, MHARR

What the Consumer Conference Board reported for September, 2018 are near record highs.




The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® increased in September, following a large improvement in August., said the Nielsen owned operation in a media release including the Daily Business News on MHProNews. “The Index now stands at 138.4 (1985=100), up from 134.7 in August. The Present Situation Index improved marginally from 172.8 to 173.1, while the Expectations Index surged from 109.3 last month to 115.3 this month.”

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch,” stated the Nielsen-affilated Conference Board. “The cutoff date for the preliminary results was September 14.” 

After a considerable improvement in August, Consumer Confidence increased further in September and hovers at an 18-year high,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. She also serves on the board of the Demand Institute.


The September reading is not far from the all-time high of 144.7 reached in 2000. Consumers’ assessment of current conditions remains extremely favorable, bolstered by a strong economy and robust job growth. The Expectations Index surged in September, suggesting solid economic growth exceeding 3.0 percent for the remainder of the year. These historically high confidence levels should continue to support healthy consumer spending, and should be welcome news for retailers as they begin gearing up for the holiday season,” Franco said.



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Reading the Trend Lines

As you look at the Conference Board’s consumer confidence graphic’s latest trend lines, consumer confidence dropped to its low in late 2009. Consumer confidence rose in the years that followed, but began to decline again in 2015.   

Consumer confidence dipped to another low-point near mid-2016, but has risen steadily as the economy improved in 2017 and 2018. 

Consumers’ assessment of current conditions held steady in September, said the Conference Board.

Those stating business conditions are “good” increased from 40.5 percent to 41.4 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” declined marginally from 9.3 percent to 9.1 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was somewhat more favorable. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” increased from 42.3 percent to 45.7 percent, but those claiming jobs are “hard to get” increased from 12.1 percent to 13.2 percent.”

Perhaps more interesting for some is the outlook that consumers have.

The Conference Board said that “Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook improved considerably in September. The percentage of consumers anticipating business conditions will improve over the next six months increased from 24.4 percent to 27.6 percent, while those expecting business conditions will worsen declined, from 9.9 percent to 8.0 percent. Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also more upbeat. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 21.5 percent to 22.5 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs decreased from 13.2 percent to 11.0 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement declined from 25.4 percent to 22.6 percent, but the proportion expecting a decrease declined marginally, from 6.9 percent to 6.5 percent.”

The Conference Board is a nonprofit. From their website:

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board delivers trusted insights for what’s ahead. We connect senior executives across industries and geographies to share ideas, develop insights, and recommend policy to address key issues. Our mission is to help leaders anticipate what’s ahead, improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.    


Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy.”


What Could This Mean?

It is precisely because this reference is nonpartisan that makes it an interesting possible indicator for what lies ahead, one that differs from partisan political polling.

These are among the factors that could indicate that the so-called coming ‘blue wave’ reported by so much of the mainstream media could prove to be wrong on election night, November 6, 2018.

President Donald J. Trump has been touting his administration’s economic successes, which included the replacement for NAFTA, the USMCA, that was announced yesterday.  He drew a packed crowd last night in TN, where he campaigned for GOP candidates, including Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn.  “A vote for Marsha is really a vote for me,” said President Trump to last night’s enthusiastic crowd, “and for everything that we stand for. It’s a vote for Make America Great Again, that what it is.”

The full length rally is found below, which opens with chants of “USA! USA! USA!” Clearly, pride in America – confidence – is coming back.



Small Business Optimism (SBO) is also at record highs.  See that further below, under the related reports, linked below. That’s this morning’s “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

NOTICE: You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.


To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

Related Reports:

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Record Numbers hit the Road for Thanksgiving, Sign of Improving Economy, Consumer Confidence, Good for Manufactured Housing

November 22nd, 2017 Comments off

AAAReutersRecordTravelWeekendDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsPresident Trump isn’t wrong about the stock market’s record heights,” admitted the left-of-center flagship, the NYTimes.

Even as the unemployment rate has fallen, and…other economicadvances, the NYTimes said, “…economists expect wage growth to improve if unemployment stays low.”

Thus in 30 words, the NYTimes summed up what the Daily Business News spent several articles making the case for this summer.

Namely, that the Trump economic policies would be better for America, businesses, and workers than the what amounted to the ‘stay the ObamaNomics course’ plan advanced by the 45th president’s rival in 2016, former Secretary Hillary Clinton.

America, Manufactured Housing & Debate Over Minimum Wage$

While publicly traded reports to investors won’t typically name the president’s policies any more than will some in the mainstream media as being good for their businesses, it is clearly a factor that the industry’s professionals can’t ignore.

There is much for industry pros to be thankful for tomorrow…

MHC Video Interview on Cohesion, Brand, and Manufactured Housing Industry Advancement

…but there is also still much to tap all of the opportunities available.

Does a 2017 Harvard Study Point to More Manufactured Home Industry Potential?

Highest Travel Numbers for Thanksgiving in 12 Years

AAA has projected that 50.9 million Americans will take to the highways, airports, rails and other forms of transportation.

In a statement, AAA Public Affair Manager, Cindy Antrican said, “A strong economy and labor market are generating rising incomes and higher consumer confidence, fueling a strong year for the travel industry, which will continue into the holiday season.

The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 22 to Sunday, Nov. 26.

Beyond Thanksgiving, Reflections on Scandals, Fears, Reform, Prayer, Conversion

Announcement, Schedule 

While most industry professionals will be completely off for the holidays, MHProNews will offer those who want to catch up on their reading, or are hungry for new stories relevant to their business tomorrow, Friday and Saturday.

Stay tuned for some upcoming, eye-opening reports, you won’t likely find anywhere else in MHVille trade media. ## (News, tips, and commentary.)

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for

State of the Industry Report – No Spin, says Chuck Shinn, Ph.D.

January 3rd, 2017 Comments off

Chart graphic credit, Builder Partnerships. Text graphic and collage credit, MHProNews.

In Chuck Shinn, Ph.D, “State of the Industry” report, the president of Builder Partnerships tells the Daily Business News that “Housing is Good.”

Shinn said, “we are committed to telling you the good, the bad, and the ugly so you can make informed, intelligent decisions about how to run your company. When we tell you the market is doing well, you know you can trust our optimism.”

Over 15% Growth in 2017?


Chuck Shinn, Ph.D. Builder Partnerships.

As we finish 2016, this will be the strongest year,” since the 2009 ‘recovery,’ said Shinn. “My prediction for 2017 is that housing sales will be 15 to 20 percent over 2016.”

Shinn explained that he spends a lot of time studying data.
He says he looks at “…historic economic trends, real estate reports, manufacturing production levels, demographics, you name it. Show me numbers and I crunch them.”


The charts on this page are part of the fruits of those number-crunching labors.

In November, existing home sales were as strong as they have been since February 2007, when we were in the thick of the housing boom,” Shinn said. “Currently, we’re going to exceed 1.2 million housing starts, and new home sales are running 13 percent over last year.”



The Bottom Lines. Housing sales are up, and new home inventories are down. Graphics supplied by Builder Partnerships.


Juanita Duggan, President and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business (credit, NFIB).

That mirrors the optimism shown in recent Daily Business News.  For example, Juanita Duggan – President, and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) – who said, “Before Election Day small business owners’ optimism was flat, and after Election Day it soared.”  Hundreds of Duggan’s members are in manufactured housing and land-lease communities, as more in the building and supplier trades.

Sales of automobiles —the other big consumable durable category — have been strong,” Shinn said. “Consumer confidence is good; the builder confidence index is strong as well.”

The one wild card, he says, is rising mortgage rates. But short term, that is pushing more people to buy now.  And historically ‘normal’ times, in manufactured housing, rising rates on conventional housing could boost manufactured home sales as some were priced out of conventional homes and opted for a HUD Code manufactured home instead.

There is speculation that this may bode well for a good 2017 Louisville Show, which is only 2 weeks off. Stay tuned… ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

Consumer Confidence Improves in January over December

January 29th, 2014 Comments off

Business research group the Conference Board reports a brighter view of the job market and business conditions has led consumer confidence to its highest point since August, 2013, reaching 80.7 in January, up from a 77.5 December reading of the index. “Confidence appears to be back on track and rising expectations suggest the economy may pick up some momentum in the months ahead,” said Conference Board economist Lynn Franco. According to what RVBusiness tells MHProNews, since consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of U. S. economic activity, it is a closely watched monitor of the economy. Given the unseasonably cold weather in January, Amna Asaf, an economist at Capital Economics, said the January increase was encouraging.

(Image credit:

Consumer Confidence Hits High Mark in December

December 31st, 2013 Comments off

Americans’ views of current economic conditions climbed higher than expected in December, gaining 6.1 points from the previous month to 78, hitting the highest consumer confidence level since April 2008, according to what Bloomberg reported on the Conference Board index. As unemployment falls and household finance rise, people become more optimistic and continue to support the economy with their buying habits. MHProNews understands consumer spending makes up nearly 70 percent of the economy. The index averaged 53.7 during the recession that ended in June 2009, reports

(Image credit:

Wells Fargo: Interest Rates Rise may Spur Home Sales

July 8th, 2013 Comments off

Providing mortgage rates rise in sync with underlying economic conditions, “Home sales and housing starts should continue to steadily improve even as interest rates edge higher,” according to a Wells Fargo Securities (WFS) Economics Group study. The report says 19 months of below four percent interest rates did not spur a concerted rise in mortgage applications, although it did affect house values. “Prices of new and existing homes have surged as buyers bought larger and more expensive homes and investors, attracted by relatively higher rental yields, rushed into the market to buy up lower-priced homes and convert them into rentals,” states WFS. MHProNews has learned from nationalmortgagenews the uptick in employment has spurred interest rates to rise. “With employment conditions improving, consumer confidence has increased and more families are looking to buy a home. Buying plans and prospective buyer traffic are both trending up and should continue to do so,” the June WFS report says.

(Photo credit: knoxnews)

Cavco Completes Acquisition of Fleetwood

June 14th, 2013 Comments off

Phoenix, AZ-based Cavco Industries, Inc., which owns 50 percent of Fleetwood Homes, Inc., has agreed to acquire the other 50 percent from Third Avenue Value Fund and an affiliate, according to Cavco will issue common stock to Third Avenue in consideration as per their original 2009 agreement in forming Fleetwood, which also includes Palm Harbor Homes, CountryPlace Mortgage, and Standard Casualty. Joseph Stegmayer, Cavco Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer said, “We believe that the opportunity to obtain full ownership of these operations is attractive at this time. Although the manufactured housing industry remains challenged by overall economic conditions, we are encouraged by recent reports of improved general housing demand, consumer confidence, and unemployment levels. We have been fully responsible for operating the Fleetwood Homes business since August 2009 and the Palm Harbor Homes and related finance and insurance businesses since 2011. The opportunity to now consummate full ownership is clearly beneficial financially and will also eliminate certain administrative activities required of a joint venture.” As MHProNews knows, Cavco is the second largest producer of manufactured homes in the country, and also makes park model homes, vacation cabins and modular homes.

(Image credit: Cavco Industries, Inc.)

Consumer Confidence: Moving Up

September 25th, 2012 Comments off

CNNMoney reports consumer confidence rose in Sept. to 70.3, well above the 63 reading many economists expected, and higher than the 61.3 August number. The Conference Board, a business research firm, says consumers who expect more jobs in the days ahead rose from 15.8 to 18.5, and those saying jobs are difficult to obtain edged lower. Lynn Franco of The Conference Board says, “Despite continuing economic uncertainty, consumers are slightly more optimistic than they have been in several months.” The survey showed those expecting conditions to get better in the next six months rose from 16.7 percent to 18.2 percent. As MHProNews has learned, rising consumer confidence often leads to a rise in consumer spending, the cornerstone of the U.S. economy.

(Photo credit: Photobucket)


More Good Housing News

September 10th, 2012 Comments off

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) says the number of improving housing markets increased from 81 in August to 99 in Sept., further indication that the housing market is recovering. Based on employment growth,
house price appreciation, and single-family housing permit growth for six consecutive months, the survey shows 68 metropolitan areas retained their ranking, 31 new metros were added, and only 12 dropped from the list. While noting tight lending conditions continue to slow more rapid growth, NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe says, “More metros across the country are experiencing a sustained uptick in house prices, employment and new building activity as rising consumer confidence in local market conditions pushes more people to consider a new-home purchase.” As MHProNews has learned, the list includes cities in 33 states and the District of Columbia.

(Photo credit: San Antonio Express-News/Jose Mojica)