US consumer sentiment at decade low amid rising inflation

Consumers express less optimism than any other time in past decade, economist says

US consumer sentiment declined to its lowest level in a decade amid worries about rising inflation, according to data released by the University of Michigan on Wednesday.

The index of consumer sentiment declined by 4.3 points to 67.4 in November, from 71.7 in October, according to final results from a survey compiled from around 500 consumers.

This marked the lowest level in consumer sentiment since November 2011.

The index of current economic conditions also fell by 4.1 points to 73.6 in November, down from 77.7 in October.

The index of consumer expectations also decreased by 4.4 points to 63.5 in November, declining from 67.9 the month before.

“Consumers expressed less optimism in the November 2021 survey than any other time in the past decade about prospects for their own finances as well as for the overall economy,” Richard Curtin, the chief economist with Surveys of Consumers, said in a statement.

“The decline was due to a combination of rapidly escalating inflation combined with the absence of federal policies that would effectively redress the inflationary damage to household budgets,”he added.

Curtin noted that the coronavirus pandemic-induced supply shortages were the precipitating cause behind the decline in consumer sentiment, while causes of inflation have grown and spread more broadly across the economy.


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