Research >> Economics

University of Michigan Consumer Confidence sank in July to 72.5


Consumer sentiment sank further in late July due to the continued resurgence of the coronavirus, according to the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers.

In the last four months, the Sentiment Index has remained trendless, averaging a decline of 25% from the same period in 2019. The Expectations Index fell back to a six-year low first recorded in May, providing no indication that consumers expect the recession to end anytime soon, said U-M economist Richard Curtin, director of the surveys.

While the 3rd-quarter GDP is likely to improve over the record-setting 2nd quarter plunge, it is unlikely that consumers will conclude that the recession is anywhere near over, he said. The ultimate conclusion requires the discovery of an effective treatment or when a vaccine is widely available and ends the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

“The federal relief programs have prevented more substantial declines in the finances of consumers, partly shielding them from the unprecedented surge in job losses, reduced work hours, and salary cuts,” Curtin said. “The initial $1,200 payment was mostly saved by the employed as a hedge against uncertainty.

“In contrast, the added jobless benefits directly aided the most vulnerable, and its lapse will mean even more missed rent, mortgage and other debt payments. Easing off the jobless benefit will naturally result with job growth. This will allow a delayed and gradual reduction in added weekly benefits so that its eventual absence is much less disruptive.”

Personal finances show little change
Consumers’ assessments of their current finances remained unfavorable, as just 39% of consumers reported improved finances, largely unchanged since April and down from the all-time peak of 58% in February.

Net income gains were reported by just 3%, down from last year’s 22%. These declines were greater among households with incomes in the lowest third, given that more of their budgets were spent on food, with food prices posting larger increases after the start of the pandemic, Curtin said.

Consumers also held less favorable year-ahead prospects for their finances as just 35% expected gains, down from last year’s 44%. When asked about income increases in the year ahead, the median expected increase among households was just 1.0%, less than half of last year’s 2.3%.
Housing spending inches upward

The pandemic has induced shifts in preferred home locations and, combined with record-low mortgage rates, has provided a boost to favorable views about home buying as well as home selling. Views about home buying and selling improved substantially since the April lows, and can be expected to benefit sales of newly built and existing homes, Curtin said.

Job and income uncertainty has still dominated sales of large household durables, and the offsetting impact of low prices and interest rates have weakened amid rising concerns about job and income prospects.

Consumer Sentiment Index
The Consumer Sentiment Index was 72.5 in the July 2020 survey, down from 78.1 in June and well below last year’s 98.4. The Expectations Index fell to 65.9 in July, down from 72.3 in June, and substantially below last year’s 90.5. The Current Conditions Index was 82.8 in July 2020, down from 87.1 in June, and significantly below last July’s 110.7.

Consumer sentiment sank further in late July due to the continued resurgence of the coronavirus. In the last four months, the Sentiment Index has remained trendless, averaging 73.7, a decline of 25% from the same period in 2019. The Expectations Index fell back to 65.9 in July, tied with the six-year low recorded in May, providing no indication that consumers expect the recession to end anytime soon. While the 3rd quarter GDP is likely to improve over the record setting 2nd quarter plunge, it is unlikely that consumers will conclude that the recession is anywhere near over. The federal relief programs have prevented more substantial declines in consumer finances, partially shielding consumers from the unprecedented surge in job losses, reduced work hours, and salary cuts (see the chart). The lapse of the special jobless benefits will directly hurt the most vulnerable and spread even further by missed rent, mortgage, and other debt payments. Easing off the added jobless benefit will naturally result with job growth as well as provide for a delayed and gradual reduction in added benefits so that its eventual absence is much less disruptive.





Posted: July 31, 2020 Friday 10:00 AM




Tags - Research
ADP EMPLOYMENT
BEIGE BOOK
BUSINESS BAROMETER
BUSINESS INVENTORIES
CASE-SHILLER
CHALLENGER LAYOFFS
CHICAGO FED MIDWEST MFG
CHICAGO FED NATL ACTIVITY
CHICAGO PMI
CONSTRUCTION SPENDING
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE
CONSUMER CREDIT
CPI
CURRENT ACCOUNT
DURABLE GOODS
EMPLOYMENT COST INDEX
EMPLOYMENT TRENDS INDEX
EXISTING HOME SALES
FACTORY ORDERS
FOMC STMT
FOMC
GDP
HELP WANTED HWOL
HOUSING STARTS
ICSC CHAIN STORE
IMPORT PRICE INDEX
INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION
INTERNATIONAL TRADE
ISM MFG
ISM NON-MFG
JOB OPENINGS
JOBLESS CLAIMS
KANSAS CITY FED MFG
LEADING INDEX
MASS LAYOFFS
MICH CONSUMER CONFIDENCE
MORTGAGE APPS
NAHB INDEX
NAPM-NY
NBER
NEW HOME SALES
NEW YORK FED MFG
NFIB OPTIMISM INDEX
NONFARM EMPLOYMENT
PAYCHEX-IHS SMALL JOBS
PENDING HOME SALES
PERSONAL INCOME
PHILA FED FORECASTERS
PHILA FED MFG
PHILA FED NON-MFG
PPI
PRODUCTIVITY GROWTH
REAL HOURLY EARNINGS
RETAIL SALES
RICHMOND FED MFG
TEXAS FED MFG
TREASURY INTL CAPITAL
WHOLESALE INVENTORIES
Archives
Dec 2020
Nov 2020
Oct 2020
Sep 2020
Aug 2020
Jul 2020
Jun 2020
May 2020
Apr 2020
Mar 2020
Feb 2020
Jan 2020
Dec 2019
Nov 2019
Oct 2019
Sep 2019
Aug 2019
Jul 2019
Jun 2019
May 2019
Apr 2019
Mar 2019
Feb 2019
Jan 2019
Dec 2018
Nov 2018
Oct 2018
Sep 2018
Aug 2018
Jul 2018
Jun 2018
May 2018
Apr 2018
Mar 2018
Feb 2018
Jan 2018
Dec 2017
Nov 2017
Oct 2017
Sep 2017
Aug 2017
Jul 2017
Jun 2017
May 2017
Apr 2017
Mar 2017
Feb 2017
Jan 2017
Dec 2016
Nov 2016
Oct 2016
Sep 2016
Aug 2016
Jul 2016
Jun 2016
May 2016
Apr 2016
Mar 2016
Feb 2016
Jan 2016
Dec 2015
Nov 2015
Oct 2015
Sep 2015
Aug 2015
Jul 2015
Jun 2015
May 2015
Apr 2015
Mar 2015
Feb 2015
Jan 2015
Dec 2014
Nov 2014
Oct 2014
Sep 2014
Aug 2014
Jul 2014
Jun 2014
May 2014
Apr 2014
Mar 2014
Feb 2014
Jan 2014
Dec 2013
Nov 2013
Oct 2013
Sep 2013
Aug 2013
Jul 2013
Jun 2013
May 2013
Apr 2013
Mar 2013
Feb 2013
Jan 2013
Dec 2012
Nov 2012
Oct 2012
Sep 2012
Aug 2012
Jul 2012
Jun 2012
May 2012
Apr 2012
Mar 2012
Feb 2012
Jan 2012
Dec 2011
Nov 2011
Oct 2011
Sep 2011
Aug 2011
Jul 2011
Jun 2011
May 2011
Apr 2011
Mar 2011
Feb 2011
Jan 2011
Dec 2010
Nov 2010
Oct 2010
Sep 2010
Aug 2010
Jul 2010
Jun 2010
May 2010
Apr 2010
Mar 2010
Feb 2010
Jan 2010
Dec 2009
Nov 2009
Oct 2009
Sep 2009
Aug 2009
Jul 2009
Jun 2009
May 2009
Apr 2009
Mar 2009
Feb 2009
Jan 2009
Dec 2008
Nov 2008
Oct 2008
Sep 2008
Aug 2008




Buy Economic Books at

The OneWall.com Book Shop

Quick Links
Barron's Online
Bloomberg
CNBC
CNBC TV Live
CNet Investor
Financial Times (UK)
Forbes
Kudlow Podcast
MSNBC TV Live
NBC News
NY Times
The Economist
TheStreet.com
Wall St Journal
Dismal Scientist
Dr. Ed Yardeni
FRED Graph
Lawrence Kudlow
Stone McCarthy
GDPNow
NABE
ABC News
CNNfn
Institutional Investor
MarketWatch
Cash Prices - WSJ.com
Dr. Jeremy Siegel
Market Map
NY RBOB Gas
Shadow Fed - SOMC
BankStocks.com
Dow Jones Indices
Morningstar
SP Indices
Mt Washington Observatory
Weather.com
Yahoo!!




National Association for Business Economics
NABE

Founded in 1920, the National Bureau of Economic Research is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works.

CFA Institute

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was created to examine the causes, domestic and global, of the current financial and economic crisis in the United States.

The Moment of Truth: Report of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform