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Home>UPDATE: In the face of hurricanes and politics, consumer sentiment weakens slightly

UPDATE: In the face of hurricanes and politics, consumer sentiment weakens slightly

UPDATE: In the face of hurricanes and politics, consumer sentiment weakens slightly

09/29/2017

By Andrea Riquier

Americans are proving resilient, the survey director wrote - but will they spend as he forecasts?

The numbers: A measure of consumer sentiment (http://www.sca.isr.umich.edu) eased in September, but Americans proved "resilient" in the face of massive hurricanes and political unease. The University of Michigan's gauge slipped to 95.1 from 96.8 in August. That was the level expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch.

(http://projects.marketwatch.com/economic-data/?series=UMCSENT&theme=white&recession=on&hed=University+of+Michigan+consumer+sentiment&dek=Index+1966%3AQ1%3D100%2C+not+seasonally+adjusted&source=University+of+Michigan+via+FRED&source_link=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.umich.edu%2F&drad=on&start=2000-01-01&end=2017-09-01&predictions=none)

What happened: The survey's index of current conditions ticked up to 111.7 from 110.9, but the index that gauges expectations slid to 87.7. The overall gauge is 4.3% higher than its level a year ago.

Big picture: For the year to date, the sentiment index has averaged 96.2, making 2017 the strongest since 2000. The current level of confidence signals a 2.6% increase in consumer spending over the next year, the survey director, Richard Curtin, said in a statement.

What are they saying? "The resilience of consumers has again been demonstrated as concerns about the impact of the hurricanes on the national economy have quickly faded," Curtin wrote.

"In the past year, there has been a long list of issues that could have derailed the overall level of consumer confidence, including the unprecedented partisan divide, North Korea, Charlottesville, and the hurricanes," Curtin added.

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