© Bloomberg. On September 9, a shopper wears boxes of shoes at the Queens Center mall in New York’s Queens Borough.
(Bloomberg) – U.S. consumer sentiment rose in early October to a seven-month high thanks to the improving economic outlook, although confidence remained well below pre-pandemic levels.
The University of Michigan’s preliminary sentiment index for October rose to 81.2 from a final reading of 80.4 in September, data showed Friday. The median estimate of economists polled by Bloomberg was 80.5; the index was at 101 in February, near the highest since 2004.
The current conditions gauge fell 2.9 points to 84.9, while a measure of expectations rose 3.2 points to 78.8.
While the result indicates that pessimism about the future has subsided somewhat, opinions on purchasing conditions for durable goods have deteriorated in the survey, indicating somewhat less appetite for large purchases ahead of the market. holiday shopping season. In addition, the gap between Democrats and Republicans on sentiment has remained wide.
With a further acceleration in coronavirus infections in the United States and talks in Congress for further stimulus at a stalemate, the economic rebound and the job market face headwinds that will challenge whoever wins the 3 presidential election. November.
“Slowing job growth, the resurgence of Covid-19 infections, and the lack of additional federal relief payments have made consumers more concerned about current economic conditions,” said Richard Curtin, director of the investigation, in a press release. “These concerns have been largely offset by continued weak gains in the economic outlook for the coming year.”
A separate government report earlier Friday showed retail sales increased in September the most in three months.
The Michigan report also showed that inflation expectations remained relatively subdued. Consumers expected prices to rise 2.7% in the coming year, down from 2.6% in September, while long-term inflation expectations fell to 2.4%, the lowest since March.
The preliminary survey covers responses received through October 14. The final report for the month will be released on October 30.
© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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