After falling nine percentage points in July, the Rydex Advisor Confidence Index regained that territory in August to end at 104.5, where it had stood in June, according to Rydex/SGI AdvisorBenchmarking.
Since September 2008, when the index fell to 79, the index has been steadily climbing, by a total of 25.05 points, from a “negative” outlook to “neutral.” To reflect a positive outlook, however, it would have to gain another 29.28 points to reach 133.33.
Financial advisers responding to Rydex’s survey generally agreed that the recession is over, as reflected by the stock market’s gains over the past five months. However, they fear that more banks could continue to fail, lingering debt will hamper consumer spending, unemployment will worsen and real estate prices and sales will remain soft.
“In the short run, the U.S. market will need to see stronger numbers, particularly from the consumer side of the economy before markets can build any long-term momentum,” said George Cheatham of American Financial Consultants.
Jim Elder of ElderAdo Financial said, “Government policies and likely heavy tax increases at the federal, state and local levels are likely to continue to put a damper of consumer spending, thus causing a delayed and subdued recovery.”
Expressing an even more pessimistic view of the recovery was Peter Wheeler of Wheeler/Frost Associates, who commented, “Increasing unemployment and reluctant consumers will hold back any recovery. The recent stimulus is nothing more than tax dollars poorly applied and will prove illusionary.”