US Economy

My 'fishing indicator' optimistic: Jarden founder

It was the right time to merge: Jarden's Martin Franklin

The new year stock market turmoil has not put a lid on American consumers yet, said Martin Franklin, founder of consumer products powerhouse Jarden.

"Whether the stock market and the momentum can overtake consumer confidence, I don't know. But at the moment, consumer confidence is … higher than the average," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Friday.

Jarden's dozens of major brands include Yankee Candle, Sunbeam, Mr. Coffee and Crock-Pot, plus such outdoor brands as Coleman and Marmot. The company agreed in December to be purchased by Newell Rubbermaid for about $15 billion. When the deal closes in the second quarter, Franklin will join board of the new company.

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"The consumer is relatively healthy in the markets that we're in; certainly healthier than if you'd looked at the stock market," Franklin said.

According to his "fishing indicator," it's all about "line and bait versus rods and reels" sales, he said.

"If we see more line and bait being bought and a slowdown in rods and reels, we know that's impacting the consumer. They're feeling a little pinched," he said. But that's not happening, he added: "We're selling a lot of everything in the fishing business right now."

Franklin also believes that depressed oil prices, which have led to cheaper gasoline, also help put money the pockets of consumers. According to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge, the national average for gas is $1.76 per gallon. That's 18 percent cheaper than the $2.15 motorists were paying a year ago.

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"There's a lot of money that is falling into consumers' pockets. Whether they're putting all that right away into consumer spending. it's one thing," he said. "[But] when you have a healthier consumer, whether it be today or six months from today or two years from today, ... that's a good thing."