There are some indications that consumer spending has slowed, due in part to higher gas prices, smaller paychecks, and the possibility of more government cuts. Despite these problems, some analysts still point to strong factors.
An HS Global Insight economist, Chris Christopher, noted that automobiles were a bright spot in the report. The outlook for the preliminary sentiment index for March is not doing well overall. The numbers fell to 71.8, which is the lowest since December 2011. In February, the index was at
Christopher says he expects the index to increase slightly in the future. However, there is also a possibility for consumer mood to tumble in the future if political bickering tends to heat up. Problems could also occur if the political debate completely shuts down as well.