U.S. Consumer Sentiment Stalled in Early September -- University of Michigan
By Xavier Fontdegloria
Sentiment among U.S. consumers remained broadly unchanged in
early September, staying at subdued levels after August's big drop
triggered by the increase in Covid-19 cases due to the spread of
the Delta variant.
The preliminary estimate of the index of consumer sentiment
released Friday by the University of Michigan was 71.0 in
September, slightly up from 70.3 in August and below the 72.0
consensus forecast from economists polled by The Wall Street
"The steep August falloff in consumer sentiment ended in early
September, but the small gain still meant that consumers expected
the least favorable economic prospects in more than a decade," said
Richard Curtin, the survey's chief economist.
Consumer confidence hints Americans' willingness to spend on
goods and services, which is a major driver of the U.S.
Two components of the measure posted additional declines. Buying
attitudes for household durables fell to a low reached only once
before in 1980, and long-term economic prospects dropped to a
decade low, Mr. Curtin said.
The decline in assessments of buying conditions for homes,
vehicles, and household durables left all three near record lows,
with consumers linking the declines to high prices, he said.
Americans' expected inflation rate increased in September
compared with the previous month, the survey showed. For the next
year, consumers expect prices to rise 4.7% compared with a 4.6%
rise in August. For the next five years, inflation is expected to
stand at 2.9%, unchanged from the prior month.
Consumers' assessment of the current economic conditions
decreased to 77.1 in September from 78.5 in August. The index of
consumer expectations--which reflects the balance of respondents
anticipating improved business conditions in the next six
months--rose to 67.1 from 65.1 the prior month.
The final reading for the month will be published Oct. 1.
Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 17, 2021 10:27 ET (14:27 GMT)
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