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Consumer Confidence Builds Momentum
But Consumer Sentiment Backtracks a Bit

Consumer Confidence Builds Momentum

Consumers' inflation worries seem to be keeping at bay, which might keep the Fed from taking any action at this week's meeting. They have recognized that low inflation expectations from consumers could be an important driver in the moderate inflation this country is experiencing at this time.

The number of consumers who view jobs as plentiful registered a score of 46.8 in the most recent survey, which ties the highest score realized in the expansion years. Overall consumer confidence recorded a 129.2 - very close to its 12-month average and up from the 121.7 tally in January but down from last October's score of 137.9, a 17-year high.

The monthly gain in this index was more than what was expected, as recently, the month to month losses posted in the share of consumers expecting more jobs were some of the largest in 30 years. The Wells Fargo Economics Group characterizes the good news as meaning, "personal consumption has momentum going into Q2"

That said though, consumer sentiment, still getting high marks, fell off a bit in April with a score of 97.2. This was predicated on recent weakness in consumer spending following a gain of 1.6% in retail sales in March. But the Wells Fargo group reports that consumers remain optimistic about their finances and "the drop in April sentiment was reflective of weaker prospects of economic growth later this year."

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December 14, 2019, 5:48 am PDT

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