Economic Expectations of U.S. Consumers Slump to Five-Month Low
Pedestrians pass in front of a “Sale” sign in San Francisco. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Economic Expectations of U.S. Consumers Slump to Five-Month Low

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(Bloomberg) -- U.S. consumer expectations fell to a five-month low in August as fears of an economic downturn and stock market volatility weighed on sentiment.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index’s monthly expectations gauge fell to 48.5 from 55 as a larger share of respondents said the economy is getting worse, according to the Aug. 6-18 survey released Thursday. The weekly reading edged up to 61.5 from 61.2 as Americans’ views of their finances and the buying climate improved.

Key Takeaways

  • Expectations pulling back from the year’s highest level follows weeks of financial-market gyrations along with rising global growth concerns.
  • The weekly figures also showed views of the state of the economy declined for a third-straight week, the longest such stretch since early May. The improvement in the weekly comfort measure suggests confidence may be stabilizing after the largest back-to-back slide in the weekly measure since March 2011.
  • The data reinforce earlier sentiment readings from the University of Michigan’s preliminary August survey, which showed confidence fell to a seven-month low on growing concerns about the economy.

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  • The weekly measures of personal finances and buying climate both increased for the first time this month.
  • Confidence among Democrats and men both fell to the lowest since April.

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