Consumer confidence and contributions

I have long wondered if there is any kind of correlation between consumer confidence, and annual contributions to congregations. I would expect giving to go down during times of lower consumer confidence, and giving to go up in times of higher consumer confidence.

Of course, there are many other variables that affect congregational giving. But I would expect consumer giving to be a major influence. What do you think?

U. Michigan Consumer Confidence index

Above: 10 year chart of the Index of Consumer Sentiment, produced by University of Michigan.


Conversation I had with our senior minister yesterday:

Senior minister: I’ve been thinking about low turnout in our evening classes. What are we going to do about adultery?

Me: Wha—? Oh! — you mean “adult RE.”

Senior minister: Um, that’s what I said. [Looks at me strangely.]

Me: [explaining that when one pronounces “adult” with a soft “a” sound and the accent on the second syllable, “adult RE” sounds like “ah-DULT-ah-ree.”] So you have to say it: “A-dult”.

Senior minister: [laughing]