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Consumer Sentiment Hits Lowest Level in a Year


September 20 – Consumer sentiment fell to its lowest level in more than a year in the first half of this month, according to the most recent University of Michigan/Reuters survey of consumers.

Overall consumer sentiment was 66.6 in the preliminary September survey, down more than two points from August (68.9). This was the lowest reading since August 2009.

The decline took place wholly among households with income greater than $75,000. Confidence actually improved somewhat among lower-income families. The higher-income families are concerned over delays in an extension of the federal tax cuts for upper income taxpayers, said Richard Curtin, director of the survey.

Overall, "confidence edged downward...as consumers judged prospects for the national economy less favorably," Curtin said.

Consumers' reading of current economic conditions was flat versus August. However, consumer expectations dipped to 59.1. This was the lowest level since March 2009. The expectations index was 62.9 last month.

Read the Reuters news report on the survey here.