Consumers consume while Wall Street worries

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After reading just a few paragraphs of this article, the first question that popped into my mind was whether consumers were wiser than Wall Street. I know that isn’t a fair question but I think it’s pointing to a simple reality.

First, it’s apparent that the Trump/GOP tax cuts, aka the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, have really worked. As long as people see the extra cash in their paychecks, consumers will spend money. It isn’t that Wall Street’s jitters about President Trump’s tariffs are unwarranted. It’s that consumers worry more about whether their jobs are still they’re paychecks keep growing.

Here’s what’s sparking consumer optimism:

Drivers hitting the road this Labor Day weekend will enjoy the cheapest gasoline prices in three years, a boon to consumers who have remained confident, while fears of recession grip much of Wall Street. Price-tracking firm GasBuddy predicts the national average for a regular gallon of gas will be $2.55 a gallon on Labor Day, down nearly 30 cents from last year and the lowest price on the holiday since 2016. The national average has fallen for six straight weeks to $2.58.

“Oh, Lord, people love these prices,” said Susan Begnell, a cashier at the Murphy USA gas station on Interstate 20 in Meridian, Miss. At $1.89 a gallon, her station currently is among the cheapest in the nation.

With winter right around the corner, gas prices might continue to drop. President Trump’s deregulation policies have made the US energy dominant, not just energy independent. That’s why the economy is still strong. That’s why consumers are still confident. That’s why consumers continue to confound Wall Street.