Consumer sentiment rose less than expected in September
US consumer confidence improved slightly in early September as gas prices continued to fall, but Americans’ confidence in the economy remains near a record low.
The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 59.5 in September – higher than August’s reading of 58.2 but below economists’ expectations for a reading of 60.0.
That’s still 18% down from just a year ago, when the scale was at 72.8.
“Consumer sentiment was essentially unchanged in September, up just 1.3 points from August,” survey director Joanne HS said in a statement. “The one-year economic outlook continued to rise from the very low readings earlier in the summer, but these gains were largely offset by modest declines in the long-term outlook.”
US inflation expectations slipped again in August, New York Fed said
Consumers expect prices It will rise 4.6% over the next year, the lowest in a year but well above the pre-pandemic average. Americans believe prices will rise at an annual rate of 2.8% over the next five to 10 years, a slight decrease from August.
While Americans remain concerned about the state of the economy with persistently painfully high inflation, the recent drop in the price of gasoline has helped boost the economic mood nationwide. After hitting a record $5.01 a gallon in mid-June, a gallon of gas is now about $3.69 on average, according to AAA.
However, there are still dark clouds looming: Wall Street is growing convinced that the Federal Reserve will cause a recession with its aggressive campaign to raise interest rates.
Billionaire David Rubinstein warns inflation will be ‘hard’ for the fund to reduce
“Low gas prices should boost consumer spending in the near term, but tightening financial conditions create increased risks for the year ahead,” said Jeffrey Roach, vice president and chief economist at LBL Financial.
The data comes just three days after the Labor Department announced that the Consumer Price Index, a broad measure of the prices of everyday goods including gasoline, groceries and rents, rose 0.1% in August from the previous month. Prices are up 8.3% year over year.
Those figures were higher than the 8.1% headline and 0.1% monthly decline that economists at Refinitiv had expected, a worrying signal for the Federal Reserve as it seeks to quell price gains and tame consumer demand with its rate hike campaign.
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Even more worrisome, so-called core prices, which exclude the most volatile measures of food and energy, accelerated again last month: core prices rose 6.3% from a year earlier, above economists’ expectations of 6.1%, and rose 0.6 percent. % MoM – a bigger increase than in April, May, June and July, and a worrying sign of that inflationary pressures The economy is still strong.