Survey: Consumers' Confidence in U.S. Economy Falters

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By Steven C. Johnson

NEW YORK -- U.S. consumer sentiment retreated this month after reaching its highest in nearly six years in May, a survey released Friday showed, as household optimism about employment and housing faded slightly.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment fell to 82.7 in June, below a near six-year high of 84.5 in May. Economists polled by Reuters had expected it to hold at 84.5 this month.

June's reading, however, was the second highest in the last eight months, suggesting Americans were far from gloomy about their long-term prospects. While the barometer of current economic conditions fell to 92.1 from 98.0, a gauge of consumer expectations edged up to its highest since November at 76.7 from 75.8.

Confidence eroded most among lower-income households, which were "more likely to report worsening overall financial prospects" than higher-income households, survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement.

But he added that "all consumers were less optimistic about job prospects in early June, expected smaller gains in the value of their homes and judged the probability of stock price increases somewhat below last month's level."

The stock market has struggled in the first few weeks of June amid fear that the Federal Reserve might start scaling back its aggressive stimulus program. But the S&P 500 (^GSPC) is still up nearly 15 percent this year, and housing prices in major metropolitan areas have been rising since early 2012.

The survey's one-year inflation expectation rose to 3.2 percent from 3.1 percent, and the survey's five-to-10-year inflation outlook move to 3 percent from 2.9 percent.

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With the dumb ass that was elected for the 2nd time by you know who, you had to know ths was coming, but of course in his pea brain it surely has to be Bush's fault.

June 14 2013 at 5:54 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

No Kidding did it take all the scholars at the U of M to figure that one out ???

O bummer and Bernanke pumped the stock market so good the wealthy business owners don't even need to sell anything but their stocks while terminating employees and replacing them with the illiterates who will work for sub standard wages.

Ford Motor Company is partnering with third party slave drivers who run their plants under different names and barely pay enough wages to cover driving to the job at over $4.00 per gallon. Line speeds are so fast and injuries so common temp companies have been hired to keep a fresh flow of bodies into the meat grinder all happening in Michigan.

June 14 2013 at 11:44 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply