US consumers 'don't expect the recession to end anytime soon', U.Michigan says

31 July 2020

(Sharecast News) - US consumer sentiment slipped a bit more than had been anticipated in July, belying consumers' skepticism about the sustainability of the economic rebound, some economists said.
The University of Michigan's closely-followed consumer sentiment index for July was revised down to 72.5 from a preliminary print of 73.2 (consensus: 72.7).

In June it had reached 78.2.

Richard Curtin, the survey director, linked the retreat to the resurgence of Covid-19 infections.

Curtin said that the index, having flatlined at around 73.7 over the past four months, which left it down by about a quarter in comparison to the comparable period of 2019, provided "no indication that consumers expect the recession to end anytime soon".

"While the 3rd quarter GDP is likely to improve over the record setting 2nd quarter plunge, it is unlikely that consumers will conclude that the recession is anywhere near over," he explained.

"The federal relief programs have prevented more substantial declines in consumer finances, partially shielding consumers from the unprecedented surge in job losses, reduced work hours, and salary cuts."

A sub-index of consumer expectations contained in the same report fell from 72.3 for June to 65.9 in July and tied with the six-year low hit in May.

The other main sub-index, which tracks views on the current situation, was down from 87.1 to 82.8.