US Consumer-Sentiment Drop Shows Post-Election Bump Fading

US Consumer-Sentiment Drop Shows Post-Election Bump Fading

Consumer sentiment measured by the University of MI slipped in June to the lowest level since the presidential election in November, but the modest decline masked a sharper drop in the gauge just since June 8, after former FBI Director James Comey testified to Congress on his dealings with President Trump. Overall, the June report implies weakening in consumer enthusiasm. Mr. Curtin noted, however, that "only a few consumers spontaneously referred to him or his testimony when asked to explain their views".

"This marks the first evidence that political turmoil in Washington could impinge on the economy, so gauges of consumer attitudes clearly bear watching", Amherst Pierpont Securities chief economist Stephen Stanley said in a note to clients.

The fall was widely based with the current conditions index that dropped to 109.6 from 111.7 and the future expectations index that fell to 84.7 from 87.7, both falling compared to the earlier month.

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Partisan differences persisted with Democrats generally still uneasy surrounding proposed economic policies while Republicans were concerned over that the chances of tax reforms being passed appeared to have declined. Then Comey testified and consumer sentiment plunged.

Fortunately, Curtin added, the strong labour market togethwer with higher household income and wealth had acted as an offset against the rising uncertainties. The expectation for inflation over the next year was unchanged at 2.6%. This represents a 1.1% increase over June 2016's rate.

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