Americans Feel Better About Tomorrow Than Today
Consumer sentiment remains sluggish as the economy continues to struggle and Americans face higher-than-normal heating bills. According to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary reading, consumer sentiment was 81.2 in February, unchanged from the prior month.
While the reading is still below levels seen before the financial crisis, it’s slightly better than estimated. On average, economists expected the index to reach 80.6. In 2013, consumer sentiment ranged from a low of 73.2 in October to a high of 85.1 in July. However, the Labor Department recently reported that the economy added only 113,000 jobs in January, well below estimates and the latest reminder that consumers face an uphill economic battle in a frigid winter.
“The good news is that confidence proved resilient to recent government reports of weak growth in income and employment,” survey director Richard Curtin wrote in a statement. “The not-so-good news is that the full impact on household budgets from the harsh winter has yet to be registered.”