The latest consumer confidence numbers are out – they are not just bad, they are absolutely terrible!
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment slumped to 54.9 from 63.7 the prior month. The gauge was projected to decline to 62, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.
This is the lowest figure since May 1980, the last time we had an ultraliberal President screwing up the country. We know how November 1980 worked out.
A report from the Commerce Department today showed sales at U.S. retailers climbed 0.5 percent in July, the most in four months, indicating consumers are holding up even as employment slows. Purchases excluding automobiles rose more than forecast.
Today’s confidence figures parallel the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, which fell to minus 49.1 in the period to Aug. 7, its lowest level since mid-May.
The Michigan survey’s index of current conditions, which reflects Americans’ perceptions of their financial situation and whether it is a good time to buy big-ticket items like cars, fell to 69.3 from 75.8 the prior month.
The index of consumer expectations for six months from now, which more closely projects the direction of consumer spending, decreased to 45.7, from 56 the prior month.
Consumer spending dropped in June for the first time in almost two years as savings climbed, the Commerce Department reported earlier this month. The economy grew at a 1.3 percent annual rate following a 0.4 percent gain in the prior quarter that was less than earlier estimated, Commerce Department figures showed.
So spending has been flat and looks to be headed down – more bad news.
Who’ll get the blame? Bush? Tea party? S&P? Arab spring? Japanese tsunami? London rioting/Eurozone issues?