community stories for southern Nevada

Consumer sentiment falls again

Exactly how we measure this stuff is beyond the understanding of a poor, working radio producer…but then again, it makes perfect sense that people who see layoffs and foreclosures and a world of financial hurt around them, are going to be just tad cautious about going crazy with the greenbacks (I’m just sayin’….).

Anyhoo, the experts tell us it’s official, as this Bloomberg article enumerates:

Confidence among U.S. consumers fell more than forecast in October, a reminder that households remain nervous about the strength of the emerging economic recovery.

The Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment decreased to 69.4 from 73.5 in September, which was the highest in more than a year. Measures of expectations for six months ahead and current conditions both fell. The index averaged 87.3 in 12 months leading to December 2007, when the recession began.

The highest unemployment rate in 26 years threatens to restrain consumer spending as the U.S. enters the Christmas- holiday shopping period. Minutes from last month’s Federal Reserve meeting show policy makers are still concerned that rising unemployment will curb consumer spending and lead to an anemic recovery.

“This is probably giving us a more accurate reading of what consumers are feeling,” said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts, who had the lowest forecast in the Bloomberg News survey. “They’re very concerned about how long unemployment is going to stay high, and they’ve very concerned about their own personal finances.”

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