What Cheer? Consumers More Glum Than Ever

Retailers have been hoping that we’d enter the annual Festival of Shopping with higher spirits than last year, but it looks like that might not happen after all. The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index was updated today, and it shows a drop to 66.0, “well below October’s reading of 70.6 and a sharp reversal of the 71.0 figure economists had expected.”

It’s not too hard to see why, considering unemployment is at a 26-year high and expected to remain above 10% well into next year. Some other measurements as reported by Bloomberg:

The gauge 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, decreased to 69.6 from 73.7.

The index of consumer expectations for six months from now, which more closely projects the direction of consumer spending, dropped to 63.7 from 68.6.

“Consumer Sentiment in U.S. Unexpectedly Decreased” [Bloomberg]
“Prelim Nov Reuters/Umich Consumer Sentiment Tumbles to 66.0 “ [Interactive Investor]
(Photo: cwbuecheler)