March’s Consumer Reports Index, a measure of overall consumer financial health, showed that the confidence of the American consumer is waning. After three months of improvement, the Consumer Reports Sentiment Index fell this month to 46.1, from 49.6 last month.
February’s Consumer Reports Index, a measure of overall consumer financial health, showed that conditions have improved, but gains were uneven. Consumer sentiment is up; however, employment wavered and retail activity was lackluster in what is usually a light shopping month. The financial stress felt by those in households making less than $50,000, who make up about half of all adults, remains high.
January’s Consumer Reports Index, a measure of consumers’ overall financial health, shows that consumer sentiment and employment have climbed, while their stress has diminished and their financial difficulties have moderated compared to past months.
November’s Consumer Reports Index, a measure of overall consumer financial health, showed that as the holiday season approaches there are some positive signs for the economy, though difficulties temper the outlook.
October’s Consumer Reports Index, a measure of overall consumer financial health, showed some hopeful signs for the economy, but old problems persist. “As we approach the holiday season, there is some positive movement in retail,” said Ed Farrell, director of the Consumer Reports National Research Center. “However, a strong holiday season will depend on consumers having clear signs that the economy is on the mend, which to this point has been lacking. Weak employment, financial difficulties, and poor confidence overall continue to present a powerful headwind for holiday sales.”
September’s Consumer Reports Index, a measure of overall consumer financial health, showed signs that sentiment is improving after plummeting to its lowest level in nearly two years. But the poor job market is making the recovery a grueling process.
This month the economic outlook of consumers darkened markedly. The Consumer Reports Index fell to 43.4, down from 48.5 last month. The Consumer Sentiment Index, one of the five indices that make up the overall index, fell sharply to its lowest level since December, 2009.
While affluent Americans have largely recovered from the economic recession, the road to recovery has been much longer for low-income households, according to two years’ worth of data from the Consumer Reports Index.
Consumer purchase intent for new cars is down, though interest has increased incrementally in used cars, according the Consumer Reports Retail Index.
Overall consumer sentiment remains in negative territory for the second consecutive month. And fading confidence is just one sign that Americans have been impacted by the reports of a stumbling recovery, according the Consumer Reports Index June report. The Consumer Reports Trouble Tracker Index, a component of the CR Index that measures the amount of financial difficulties consumers face, is statistically unchanged from last month. But consumers are still worse off than they were in March and April. Nearly one-third of Americans (31.9%) reported one or more of the financial problems the index measures, up from the prior month (27.2%).
High gas prices, rising inflation, and increasing financial troubles has taken a toll on consumers. The Consumer Reports Sentiment Index fell significantly in the May report to 45.7 from 50.2 the prior month, and is once again in negative territory.
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