Despite the warlike noises emerging from the White House, and continued ill tidings from Wall Street, US public sentiment remains relatively resilient, reports the monthly index of consumer confidence from the University of Michigan.
This edged down in September to 86.1 from August’s 87.6 – although hardly changed from the mid-month sounding of 86.2. But it still represents the index’s lowest point in nearly a year.
Paradoxically, consumers’ assessment of current economic conditions fell only slightly to 95.8 from the mid-September level, albeit well down on August’s 98.5; while the UoM's future expectations index remained virtually unchanged from August and mid-September, posting 79.9 for the full month of September.
Michigan researchers comment that the September response shows that consumers still intend to spend at a significant rate on cars and homes but plan to cut back on “nearly all other items.”
Observes Comerica Bank economist David Littman: “I find that a remarkable amount of stability given the backdrop of global tensions, plunging stock prices, and rocky economic news”; while UoM survey director Richard Curtin added: “Consumers have not yet expressed apprehensions about the war’s potential impact on the economy.”
Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff