US Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Plunges To 7-Month Lows As Optimism Slumps

Having surged to pre-COVID levels in June, The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index is expected to rebound in September from a two-month slide, but they were wrong as US Consuemr Confidence tumbled for the 3rd straight month to 109.3 (from 113.8 and well below the 115.0 expected).

Both ‘Present Situation’ and ‘Expectations’ tumbled (143.4 vs 147.3 prior and 86.6 vs 91.4 prior respectively).

Source: Bloomberg

This is the weakest consumer confidence since February.

“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.

“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. Short-term inflation concerns eased somewhat, but remain elevated. Consumer confidence is still high by historical levels—enough to support further growth in the near-term—but the Index has now fallen 19.6 points from the recent peak of 128.9 reached in June. These back-to-back declines suggest consumers have grown more cautious and are likely to curtail spending going forward.”

Simply put, optimism collapsed:

Consumers’ optimism about the short-term business conditions outlook eroded further in September.

21.5% of consumers expect business conditions will improve, down from 23.4%.
17.6% expect business conditions to worsen, up from 17.4%.

Consumers were also less optimistic about the short-term labor market outlook.

21.5% of consumers expect more jobs to be available in the months ahead, down from 23.1%.
20.3% anticipate fewer jobs, up from 18.0%.

Consumers were slightly less positive about their short-term financial prospects.

17.3% of consumers expect their incomes to increase, down from 18.2%.
11.5% expect their incomes will decrease, up from 9.9%.

Finally, spot the difference in confidence among Americans…

Source: Bloomberg

Can you tell which is the government-sponsored ‘confidence’ measure and which is the private entity sourced.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 09/28/2021 – 10:05

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