Confidence Is Getting Shaky Just as the Safety Net Gets Smaller

Source: Economics Group of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Summary Soft confidence in recent years has not always translated into spending declines partly because consumers were flush with cash and had easy access to affordable credit. But with savings running dry and credit now scarce and costlier, the biggest monthly decline in consumer confidence since 2020 could be more impactful on actual spending. The Case for Paying Closer Attention to Confidence Consumer confidence fell 5.7 points in September to come in at 103.0 for the month, which is a bit lower than the decline the consensus had expected (chart). Over the past two years, consumer confidence has been in a range between 95.3 and 115.2 with an average of 106.31. While today’s print is only a little below average for that time span, it also reflects the second consecutive monthly decline, the lowest overall reading since May and the biggest monthly drop since December 2020. The expectations component fell almost 10 points to land at 73.7 in September from 83.3 in August (chart). A very modest silver lining is that prior month’s figures for the present situation, expectations and overall confidence all benefited from slight upward revisions. READ FULL ARTICLE >>