Small Business Marketing News

Consumer Sentiment Hits Lowest Level Since March, Survey Finds

Written by Jenna Weiner
Published: 8/14/2009

Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers indicates unexpected decrease in consumer sentiment.

The Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers had some bad news for small businesses hoping for a boost in sales to carry them through the recession, as the latest sentiment index decreased unexpectedly in August.

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The preliminary August consumer sentiment index decreased 2.8 points since July's reading to reach 63.2, Reuters reported.

The current conditions index also declined, down to 64.9 from July's 70.5, as did the expectations index, which fell 1.1 point to 62.1.

Although the August consumer sentiment reading is the lowest since March, it is well above the three-decade low of 55.3 in November, Bloomberg reported.

Economists polled by Bloomberg had expected the index to rise to 69, making the decline unexpected.

The index results are also surprising considering the concurrent release of the consumer price index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which showed that the cost of living remained the same.

The decline in consumer sentiment and confidence was reflected in the recently released Department of Commerce retail sales figures, which found that sales declined 0.1 percent in July after rising 0.8 percent in June.

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