By Selina Stoller, Summit AmeriFirst Holdings, LLC
After reaching a seven-month high in August, consumer confidence declined in September.
The index, conducted by The University of Michigan, measures 500 consumers’ attitudes on future economic prospects, in areas such as personal finances, inflation, unemployment, government policies and interest rates. The consumer sentiment index hit 95.3 percent in September.
This figure comes after the index almost returned to peak levels in August at 97.6 percent. Although the index has dipped, it’s better than what economists expected.
“Consumer confidence edged downward in early September due to concerns over the outlook for the national economy,” Richard Curtin, chief economist for the Surveys of Consumers, said.
He noted that Hurricane Harvey and Irma greatly impacted economic conditions in September. Nine percent of consumers “spontaneously mentioned concerns that Harvey, Irma, or both, would have a negative impact on the overall economy,” Curtin said.
He added that renewed gains in incomes as well as rising home and equity values have acted to counterbalance the negative impacts from the hurricanes.
Hurricane Harvey hit southeastern Texas on August 25, causing catastrophic flooding and at least 60 deaths. Harvey is the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
Damages from Harvey are expected to reach $194 billion, which far surpasses the $158 billion in damages Hurricane Katrina caused.
- 22 Sep, 2017
- Josh Smith