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What’s Causing the Consumer Blues?

Each month, researchers at the University of Michigan interview hundreds of consumers about their opinions on current economic conditions, as well as their personal finances, buying intentions, and expectations for the future. Survey results are captured in the Index of Consumer Sentiment, which is a closely watched economic indicator because household spending accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. gross domestic product.

Despite a strong labor market, the index fell to an all-time low in June 2022, before starting to improve in the third quarter. High inflation, the specter of rising interest rates, and stock market declines are some of the reasons consumers have felt pessimistic about their economic prospects.

Source: University of Michigan, 2022 (data from January 1978 through September 2022)


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