Greensboro College Economist Calls Drop in Consumer Confidence "Much Ado About Nothing"

"GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The sharp drop in consumer confidence this month has been driven by short-sighted fear about stock-market collapse, Greensboro College economist William K. MacReynolds said today.

Those data, released today, show that the Consumer Confidence Index declined from 97.8 in January to 92.2 in February.

"It's much ado about nothing," MacReynolds said. "Stocks prices rise and fall.  It's what they do."

The economy's underlying strength, MacReynolds said, should suffice to provide at least 2 percent growth this year.

He acknowledged that there are pockets of concern around the nation because of falling oil prices, but he added that those same decreases have led to falling gasoline prices: "Consumers are quite well off as a result."

The latest stock-market vagaries, he said, do not presage a recession, declined as two consecutive quarters of shrinkage of the economy.

"It takes much more than what has transpired recently to move into recession," he said.

MacReynolds is founding dean of the School of Business and director of the N.C. Center for Economic Prosperity at Greensboro College.

The N.C. Center for Economic Prosperity was founded at Greensboro College in 2015 to gather, analyze and comment on economic data and policies that impact North Carolinians.

MacReynolds has served as a senior economist for the Federal Trade Commission and director of economic forecasting for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

He holds a B.S. in agricultural economics from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Southern California. He joined the college faculty full-time in 2014 after having taught part-time here since 2010.

Greensboro College provides a liberal-arts education grounded in the traditions of the United Methodist Church and fosters the intellectual, social, and, spiritual development of all students while supporting their individual needs.

Founded in 1838 and located near downtown Greensboro, the college enrolls about 1,000 students from 29 states and territories, the District of Columbia and seven foreign countries in its undergraduate liberal-arts program and four master's degree programs. In addition to rigorous academics and a well-supported Honors program, the school features a 17-sport NCAA Division III athletic program and dozens of service and recreational opportunities."

- A Press Release

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