Recession alert! Massive drop in US consumer sentiment for August – comes in well below estimates

  • U.S. consumer sentiment falls to 92.1 in August, the lowest indicator readout since the start of 2019, according to data released Friday.
  • Economists polled by Refinitiv expect the preliminary read on August consumer sentiment to reach 97, down from 98.4 in July.
  • The August losses span all index components, according to the report.

U.S. consumer sentiment fell to 92.1 in August, the lowest indicator readout since the start of 2019, according to data released Friday. The dip points to further uncertainty in the U.S. economy, as consumers navigate wild market swings and a constantly shifting trade environment.

The University of Michigan’s preliminary August print came in well below Wall Street estimates. Economists polled by Refinitiv expected the preliminary read on August consumer sentiment to reach 97, down from 98.4 in July.

The August losses spanned all index components, according to the report. Businesses across all sectors have curtailed spending amid efforts to counteract the impact of reciprocal U.S. and China tariffs. Poor consumer sentiment suggests those efforts haven’t fully staved off concern.

“Monetary and trade policies have heightened consumer uncertainty — but not pessimism — about their future financial prospects,” wrote Richard Curtin, chief economist of the University of Michigan’s Survey of Consumers.

“Consumers strongly reacted to the proposed September increase in tariffs on Chinese imports, spontaneously cited by 33% of all consumers in early August, barely below the recent peak of 37%,” he wrote.

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump attempted to ease those concerns.

On Tuesday, he announced the U.S. would delay proposed tariffs on certain Chinese imports, including clothing, electronics and footwear. The news sent retail stocks including GuessMacy’s and Target surging.

www.cnbc.com/2019/08/16/us-consumer-sentiment-august-2019-preliminary.html