But what's most encouraged is a return to normalcy in this country. Increasingly, you are hearing that the country's starting to get back to 2007 data, particularly with retail, but more importantly, housing. A lot of that is because employment growth has been so strong.
And a lot of it is because of something that was stressed over and over again on perhaps the most important conference call I heard in the last few weeks, the conference call from KB Home (KBH), the national builder that constructs everything from inexpensive starter homes to incredibly luxurious condos. The $200,000 to $3 million gamut, and the dramatic regional stretching of the KB Home footprint, makes it an ideal barometer for what's happening in the 10% of the U.S. economy that punches well above its weight when it comes to gross domestic product.
To put it simply: business is gangbusters. Not only that, it is sustainably gangbusters because of one aspect that is not going to take us below the 2007 consumer confidence figure that KB Home says it feels we've gotten to: namely, household formation.