The Stock Market and Consumer Confidence: European Evidence
This paper studies the (short-run) relationship between stock market developments and consumer confidence in eleven European countries over the years 1986-2001. We find that stock returns and changes in sentiment are positively correlated for nine countries, with Germany as the main exception. Moreover, stock returns generally Granger-cause consumer confidence at very short horizons (two weeks to one month), but not vice versa. The stock market-confidence relationship is driven by expectations about economy-wide conditions rather than personal finances. This suggests that the confidence channel is not part of the conventional wealth effect, but a separate transmission channel.
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