US Conference Board Consumer Confidence for September took a hit, dropping from previous reading of 108.7 to 103.0, falling short of the anticipated 105.9. While Present Situation Index noted a modest rise from 146.7 to 147.1, Expectations Index saw a more significant drop, moving from 83.3 down to 73.7. Notably, this decline brought the Expectations Index beneath 80 mark, a level that has been traditionally viewed as early warning of an impending recession within the following year.
Dana Peterson, Chief Economist at The Conference Board, remarked, “Consumer confidence fell again in September 2023, marking two consecutive months of decline.”
The main driver behind September’s lackluster headline figure was identified as the dip in the Expectations Index, even as the Present Situation Index saw negligible changes.
Peterson further elaborated on the underlying sentiments, saying, “Write-in responses showed that consumers continued to be preoccupied with rising prices in general, and for groceries and gasoline in particular. Consumers also expressed concerns about the political situation and higher interest rates.”