Is There Way Too Much Economic Optimism?

Optimism toward the U.S. economy registered a notable rise in September, at least by one measure (Investor’s Business Daily, Sept. 13):

The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index jumped 6.6 points to 44.7 in September, as recession worries eased. … It was the second biggest one-month jump in optimism in more than a decade…

The September Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, a monthly publication which provides analysis of major U.S. financial markets and the U.S. economy, offered this perspective:

Economists remain mostly bullish, even though first-half U.S. GDP was negative. The Wall Street Journal’s July Economic Survey shows that just 14 of 63 economists expect a full-year GDP decline. None expect the decline to be 2% or greater. Of those economists that see contraction in 2022, just two forecast another decline in 2023 and those two expect mild retrenchments of 1.2% and 0.1%. These forecasts will turn out to be way too tame. … On August 23, a Bloomberg headline stated, “Business Activity Slumps Globally.” It cited slowdowns in the U.S., Europe and Asia, which doesn’t leave much of the globe untouched. … This chart shows [an] indicator of slackening global demand.

After vaulting to a record high in September 2021, the World Container Index fell 42% through [Aug. 31].