ANN ARBOR, Mich. (9/14/15)--Marking its third monthly decline, consumer confidence fell by 6.2 points in September, according to the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey, released Friday.
Uncertainty in markets at home and abroad drove the reading lower, pushing the survey’s headline number down to its lowest point of 2015 (Economy.com Sept. 11).
“Financial market conditions have weighed on confidence as stock prices are well below their recent peaks,” said Jeremy Cohn, Moody’s analyst (Economy.com). “The University of Michigan survey is sensitive to fluctuations in household finances. The drop in equity prices appears to be more than offsetting the boost to sentiment from lower oil and retail gasoline prices.”
The current conditions component of the survey fell by 4.8 points during the month to 100.3--also the third straight month of declines.
Consumer outlook for the economy also slipped, dropping seven points to 76.4, which is the lowest mark since this time last year.
Expectations for inflation climbed slightly, with one-year and five-year inflation expectations rising to 2.9% and 2.8% respectively.
Further, 33% of respondents said that their household finances have worsened over the last 12 months, an eight-point jump from August’s reading, while only 42% said their finances improved over the last year, a three-point decline.
“In September, 46% of respondents said that the U.S. will experience bad economic times versus 41% expecting good economic times over the next 12 months,” Cohn said. “The August numbers are often weak, (but) the drop in the September preliminary numbers is some cause for concern.”