Consumer confidence down in August

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Consumer confidence down in August

By Marianne Wilson - 08/14/2020

Consumer confidence among Americans has resumed a downward trend during the pandemic after holding steady last month. 

Consumer confidence, as measured by the Refinitiv/Ipsos Primary Consumer Sentiment Index, is at 47.1 for the month of August, down 2.5 points from July (49.6) and down 13.5% year-over-year. After holding flat from June to July, the downward move suggests that consumers are once again losing confidence in their personal situations as well as the economy overall, according to Refinitiv.

In addition, the expectations and jobs indices showed significant drops in August compared to last month.

“As new virus hot spots have fully established themselves across the country, American consumer confidence is reflecting the impact,” said Chris Jackson of Ipsos. “While many consumers are embracing a new normal, it has become increasingly difficult for them to maintain confidence as the virus rages and unemployment numbers are at levels unparalleled in the last decade.”

Retail earnings estimates are also trending downwards. The Refinitiv US Retail and Restaurant earnings index for the second quarter of 2020 is expected to show a -55.9% change, below the first quarter.

“If consumers don’t feel that the unemployment numbers will improve, they will continue holding back on spending,” said Jharonne Martis, director of consumer research at Refinitiv. 

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