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Consumers Sentiment Remains Weak




Consumer Sentiment remained weak in October, with the release of the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment survey. The index lost 8.2 points in July to 67.8 and has remained around that level since. Courtesy of NAHB

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Thompson Reuters recently suggested that there has been no discernable change in the overall level of consumer confidence during the past four months. In October the Consumer Sentiment index fell 0.5 points to 67.7. The survey panel advised that at its current level, the Sentiment Index is about 20 index-points below its all-time mean, ranking barely above the bottom decile of all monthly surveys.

Consumers are increasingly concerned about the slowing economic recovery and persistently high unemployment rate. The present situation index fell three points to 76.6, with the majority of consumers reporting that the economy had recently weakened. Consumers heard news of job losses over the past several months.

There was a slight improvement in the future expectations index, which was up one point to 61.9. This is encouraging as consumers see the current economic problems as temporary and anticipate the economy was more likely to rise from this point than turn down in the year ahead. Despite this, nearly 6-in-10 consumers thought that overall conditions in the economy would still be unfavorable in the year ahead.

Despite the high level of the home buying conditions index (indicating that consumers recognize the favorable housing affordability conditions), consumers appear reluctant to enter the housing market in large numbers.

Concerns about continued weakness in the United States economy and the prospect of further increases in the unemployment rate are weighing heavily on consumers decisions. This will adversely affect consumer decisions to make landscape improvements and maintenance jobs.

- Courtesy of NAHB


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December 8, 2019, 8:25 am PDT

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