UMich Sentiment Slumps To 11-Month Lows As 'Spending Plans' Plunge

Led by a collapse in Americans' views of the current situation, University of Michigan's Sentiment Survey dropped to 11-month lows, dramatically missing expectations for a rise.

  • Sentiment index decreased to 95.3 (est. 98) from prior month’s 97.9; lowest since Sept., below all analyst estimates

  • Current conditions gauge, which measures Americans’ perceptions of their finances, fell to 107.8 from 114.4 in July; 6.6-point drop is biggest since Aug. 2011

  • Expectations measure unchanged at 87.3

As Bloomberg reports, consumers showed a broad drop in confidence about major purchases, a possible caution signal for spending following strong gains in the second quarter.

Buying conditions for large household durable goods slipped to the lowest level in almost four years;

Vehicle-buying views were the least favorable since 2013;

and home-buying conditions were seen less favorably than any time in about a decade.

“Consumers voiced the least favorable views on pricing for household durables in nearly ten years,” Richard Curtin, director of the University of Michigan consumer survey, said in a statement. “The recent favorable GDP report had only a small positive impact on growth prospects for the economy and on unemployment expectations.”

Respondents also continued to express concern about how trade tensions may affect the economy. Negative references to levies remained widespread, with 32 percent citing unfavorable references to the trade policy in early August, according to the report, following 35 percent in July.

And this adds to the recent spate of soft survey data catching down to the uglier reality of US economic real data...

Hope is not a long-term strategy.