Business

/

ArcaMax

US consumer confidence decreases for first time in four months

Vince Golle, Bloomberg News on

Published in Business News

U.S. consumer confidence fell in February for the first time in four months as Americans’ views deteriorated about the outlook for the economy, the job market and financial conditions.

The Conference Board’s gauge of sentiment decreased to 106.7 from a downwardly revised 110.9 a month earlier, data published Tuesday showed. The February reading trailed all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

A measure of expectations dropped to a three-month low, while the gauge of current conditions also slipped.

This month’s decline in sentiment interrupts a recent upswing in optimism tied to more sanguine inflation views and a solid job market that have bolstered consumer spending. That resilience is helping to sustain the economic expansion at the same time price pressures ease.

The average inflation rate expected by consumers over the next 12 months continued to ease and remains at the lowest since 2020.

“While overall inflation remained the main preoccupation of consumers, they are now a bit less concerned about food and gas prices, which have eased in recent months,” Dana Peterson, chief economist at the Conference Board, said in a statement.

“But they are more concerned about the labor market situation and the U.S. political environment,” Peterson said.

 

The share of respondents who expect better business conditions in the next six months dropped to an eight-month low. The share expecting their incomes to rise fell to the lowest since October.

Consumers were also more pessimistic about their family’s current and future financial situation. The perceived likelihood of a recession in the next year increased.

Views of the job market were more downbeat than a month earlier. The share of consumers who said jobs were currently plentiful fell, while more said they’re harder to get.

The difference between those saying jobs are plentiful versus hard to get — a metric closely followed by economists to gauge labor-market strength — narrowed for the first time in three months.

The consumer confidence report showed buying plans, however, picked up this month. The share of consumers expecting to buy major appliances rose to a five-month high, while a larger share also expects to buy used vehicles.

(With assistance from Nazmul Ahasan, Kristy Scheuble and Augusta Saraiva.)


©2024 Bloomberg L.P. Visit bloomberg.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus