Consumer Sentiment Falls Again in September

Consumer sentiment fell 2.6% in September, according to data from the University of Michigan.

“Sentiment this month was characterized by divergent movements across index components and across demographic groups with little net change from last month,” said Joanne Hsu, director of the Surveys of Consumers. 

September’s consumer sentiment reading came in at 67.7, lower than August’s reading of 69.5, but still 15.5% higher year-over-year—and 35% above the all-time historic low reached in June 2022.

Inflation expectations for the future, meaning the year ahead, fell slightly to 3.1%, the lowest since March 2021 and only just above the 2.3% – 3% range seen in the two years prior to the pandemic. Long-run inflation expectations fell to 2.7%, dropping below the 2.9% – 3.1% range it has maintained for 24 months.

“Notably, though, both short-run and long-run expectations for economic conditions improved modestly this month, though on net, consumers remain relatively tentative about the trajectory of the economy,” added Hsu. “So far, few consumers mentioned the potential federal government shutdown, but if the shutdown comes to bear, consumer views on the economy will likely slide, as was the case just a few months ago when the debt ceiling neared a breach.”

In a similar vein, RISMedia’s Broker Confidence Index (BCI) fell to its lowest reading this year at 6.2 in August. RISMedia Senior Editor Jesse Williams, author of the BCI, attributes this to “leading real estate executives (bracing) for the traditionally slower months, with school back in session and inventory still frozen.”

For the full report, click here.

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