The gap between people's perceptions of reality (as judged by consumer and business surveys of confidence) and reality (as judged by fundamental economic data) has never been higher than it is today.
Peak 'Animal Spirits'
The problem for those waiting for 'hard' data to catch up to 'soft' data is – it never has.
And in this case – the 'soft' survey data has moved 2 standard deviations above the norm…
The problem – for the hope enthusiasts – is the last 5 times that the gap between perceived economic reality and actual economic reality was near this high, the S&P 500 had a troblesome few weeks/months after:
- JUL 2007 -12%
- JUN 2009 -9%
- APR 2010 -17%
- MAR 2011 -19%
- NOV 2014 -6%
Still, this time will probably be different.