Yes, the news this morning is filled with swine flu and a bigger-than-expected first-quarter GDP drop, but Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Research — who has a pretty good track record of economic forecasting, including his solid calls on the last recession recovery in 2003 — is offering several reasons for economic optimism. (A tip of the cap to The Wall Street Journal’s David Wessel for highlighting this.)
In an email to clients, Yardeni cited a dozen such reasons. A few of the highlights:
- In the U.S., consumer confidence rebounded during April.
- The 4/28 Financial Times reported that the high yield bond market may be starting to open up again. About $7 billion was raised in April, the highest volume since last July.
- The stock market held up remarkably well on Monday and Tuesday despite nervousness over bank stress tests, swine flu, and the forced downsizing of the U.S. auto industry.
- The first quarter earnings season is off to a good start as 64% of the 235 S&P 500 companies reporting so far have a positive surprise and all 10 sectors are beating their first-quarter forecast too.
- Our Fundamental Stock Market Index rose during the week of August 18 as jobless claims edged lower and the Consumer Comfort Index moved higher.