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Tuesday, August 19, 2003

US Consumers Don't Seem So Convinced

One swallow doesn't make a summer, and neither one piece of good news, nor one piece of bad news is able to depict an entire economic panorama, especially one which shows such a small change. I'm simply posting this piece to show that - despite all the whooping and the cheering - the argument here isn't entirely a one way street, this, as they say, isn't over till it's over.

U.S. consumer sentiment fell unexpectedly in August, market sources said on Tuesday, as Americans weigh a lukewarm economic recovery that has clear hot spots but has yet to show its staying power. The University of Michigan's closely watched gauge of consumer sentiment fell to a preliminary August reading of 90.2 from July's 90.9 final reading. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast a preliminary median August reading of 91.0. The survey was due to have been disseminated on Aug. 15, but was postponed due to Thursday's historic North American power outage. The survey's index on consumers' current view of the economy fell to 100.5 in August from July's 102.1, while the index of consumers' future expectations slipped fractionally to 83.6 from a final reading for July of 83.7. The survey is released only to paying subscribers. "Essentially, consumers are still jumpy. The economy is showing small signs of improvement, but we've seen small signs of improvement earlier in the recovery, and they petered out," said Kathryn Kobe, chief economist at Joel Popkin and Co. in Washington, DC.
Source: Yahoo News

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