Consumer sentiment is falling fast, a University of Michigan report shows. That index shed 13% from July’s 81.2 reading to land at 70.2 in early August.
That number reflects a new pandemic-era low, and it is the dourest outlook since 2011. The data also fell well below economist expectations for the month.
According to a chief economist at the university, Richard Curtin, the Sentiment Index has only recorded such dramatic dips six other times, and each of those instances was “connected to sudden negative changes in the economy.”
“Consumers have correctly reasoned that the economy’s performance will be diminished over the next several months,” Curtin said. “But the extraordinary surge in negative economic assessments also reflects an emotional response, mainly from dashed hopes that the pandemic would soon end.”