QUARTERLY MARKET COMMENTARY : First Quarter 2017
“The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole,” so said eminently quotable Irish writer Oscar Wilde with respect to how people can view the same future through differing perspectives. And despite the purchase of the iconic, North Carolina-based donut-maker Krispy Kreme by German investors last year, hope is springing eternal in the U.S. On the business side, CEO confidence measures are hitting levels not seen since 2006. Also, small and mid-sized firms are increasingly encouraged about business conditions going forward. The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index stayed above 105 for three straight months, easily the best readings during this economic cycle. This compares to a long-term average of 98 and a post-financial crisis mean of just 94. Not to be left out, the American consumer’s outlook has taken a turn for the better. Consumer Confidence, as reported by The Conference Board, recently hit 125.6, the highest since late 2000.