Are Consumers Throwing in the Towel?
Surrounded by a sluggish economy and dysfunctional government, consumer sentiment dropped to its lowest level of the year. According to Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s final reading, consumer sentiment fell to 73.2 in October, compared to a preliminary reading of 75.2 and September’s final reading of 77.5. It was the worst reading since December 2012.
During the last recession, the index averaged slightly above 64. In the five years before the financial crisis, it averaged almost 90. Consumer sentiment is one of the most popular measures of how Americans rate financial conditions and attitudes about the economy. The University of Michigan’s Consumer Survey Center questions 500 households each month for the index.
The results were worse than expected. On average, economists expected a final reading of about 75 for October. The consumer sentiment index has missed expectations for two consecutive months, and has declined for three months in a row.