U.S. Consumer Confidence Deteriorates Further in September
By Xavier Fontdegloria
Confidence among U.S. consumers fell in September for the third
consecutive month, signaling that the spread of Covid-19 and
inflation fears continue to weigh on households' mood.
The consumer confidence index fell to 109.3 in September from a
revised 115.2 in August, according to data released Tuesday from
The Conference Board.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected confidence
to come in at 114.9.
"Consumer confidence dropped in September as the spread of the
Delta variant continued to dampen optimism," said Lynn Franco,
senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.
Consumer confidence hints Americans' willingness to spend on
goods and services, which is a major driver of the U.S.
In September, concerns about the state of the economy and
short-term growth prospects deepened, while spending intentions for
homes, autos, and major appliances all retreated again, Ms. Franco
said. Short-term inflation concerns eased somewhat but remain
elevated, she said.
The present situation index, which reflects consumers assessment
of current business and labor market conditions, fell to 143.4 in
September from 148.9 in August. The expectations index, which
gauges short-term outlook for income, business and labor market
conditions, decreased to 86.6 from 92.8 the previous month.
"Consumers have grown more cautious and are likely to curtail
spending going forward," she said.
Consumer sentiment indicators tend to be sometimes inaccurate
gauges of actual spending patterns, Citi's economist Veronica Clark
said in a note. August's sharp decline in U.S. consumer confidence,
for example, didn't prompt a fall in retail sales during the
"With virus cases showing early signs of stabilization, and some
pullback in transitory prices like used cars, consumer confidence
measures could rise again in coming months," she said.
Another consumer sentiment survey carried out by the University
of Michigan showed that Americans' sentiment stabilized in
September at subdued levels. The University of Michigan survey is
more focused on consumers' attitudes toward buying conditions,
while the Conference Board survey focuses more on labor market
Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 28, 2021 10:33 ET (14:33 GMT)
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