U.S. Consumer Confidence Ticks Down in Early January
By Xavier Fontdegloria
Consumer confidence in the U.S. fell slightly in early January,
data from the University of Michigan survey of consumers showed
The preliminary estimate of the index of consumer sentiment was
79.2 in January, down from 80.7 in December. Economists surveyed by
The Wall Street Journal had expected the indicator to come in at a
January's only slight decline in consumer sentiment occurred
despite the rise in Covid-19 deaths, the insurrection, and
President Trump's impeachment, factors that were offset by the
progress in the vaccination campaign and a partisan shift in
expectations due to the anticipated impact of Joe Biden's economic
policies, said Richard Curtin, the survey's chief economist.
Confidence stands 20.6% below the figure registered the same
month a year earlier, the data showed.
Consumers' assessment of the current economic conditions
decreased to 87.7 in January from 90.0 in December.
The index of consumer expectations--which reflects the balance
of respondents anticipating improved business conditions in the
next six months--declined to 73.8 from 74.6 the prior month.
"The partisan shift in expectations was due to anticipated
changes in economic policies; the shift was as large as the
opposite shift that accompanied Trump's election," Mr. Curtin said,
noting that these gaps in expectations are too extreme to be
justified by economic fundamentals.
As for Covid-19, its threats to physical and mental health were
seen in January as more important than its financial repercussions,
The survey was conducted between Jan. 2 and Jan. 13. The final
reading for the month will be published on Jan. 29.
Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 15, 2021 10:33 ET (15:33 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.