US Consumers Have Worsening View Of Economy This Month, Survey Finds

Date: September 21, 2015

September Consumer Index Shows Falling Confidence In Economy

The latest Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index report shows that in September US consumers’ views of the economy fell to their most pessimistic levels in four months. The index was down from 46 in August to 44.5 for September. And, the weekly sentiment measure fell for the week ending Sept. 13 to its second-lowest weekly level since November, Bloomberg News reported. About 36% of survey respondents said the economy is worsening, while another 25% said conditions are improving. Meanwhile, the buying climate index fell to 34.9 from 35.9 in August, its poorest showing in three months, even as prices for US consumer goods were lower in August and have generally trended lower for the year. The index of personal finances was mostly unchanged, at 54.9 compared with 55.1 for the previous month. Survey results varied based on demographics, with those 18 to 34 having the most pessimistic views of the economy since November, while those 45 to 54 had the most positive views of the economy they’ve had in two months. Overall, however, consumer sentiment declined across all four regions of the survey, with those in the West and Midwest declining the most. Households in the Northeast showed the most confidence, though sentiment was also lower. Explaining the survey results, Langer Research Associates president Gary Langer said, “Worries about the national economy come as the Fed approaches decision time on interest rates. While gas prices have fallen 34 cents since mid-August and unemployment is its lowest since 2008, wage growth remains stagnant and stock market volatility continues domestically and internationally alike.”

What This Means For Small Businesses

Consumer confidence is vital for the success of small businesses nationwide – optimistic consumers will spend more money at their local small businesses, keeping those businesses operational, and driving business growth. When US consumers signal their concerns over the economic outlook, small businesses may suffer lost revenues.

Additional Reading

NFIB previously noted similar US consumer confidence results for September from the University of Michigan.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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