Recent Surveys Show Consumer Confidence Near Record Low
Early August market the lowest level of Consumer Sentiment in over 30 years; according to a recent article on MSNBC News. Combined with an increase in consumer spending in the first part of July, the current economic situation is certainly far from simple. With Wall Street and the overall state of the economy tied to the housing market; many are uncertain how mortgage rates will be affected by this.
Pundits point to the sharp debate amongst members of Congress over budget deficits and rumors of a Federal Debt Default as likely culprits for late July and early August’s drastic upheaval in stocks and the general US economy. Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan conducted the survey of Consumer Sentiment and also reported that survey respondents reported negative views of the government’s role in the current state of the economy.
Some brights spots exist such as the 0.5% rise in retail sales over the last month showing that consumers were spending more on fuel, cars, furniture and groceries…. although some critics point to rising gas prices and food costs. Despite this senior analysts at Wells Fargo Securities point to increased consumer spending as lowering the risk of a double-dip recession. Concerns still exist about whether the new debt policies will actually stick and whether Americans will see real results on Wall Street and Main Street.