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Consumer expectations fall to 9-year low as inflation weighs on Americans

·Senior Markets Editor
·2 min read

The Conference Board's latest reading on consumer confidence showed consumer expectations in June fell to their lowest level since 2013.

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index for June fell to 98.7 from 103.2 in May, below expectations for a reading of 100.

The report's expectations index, which is based on consumers' short-term outlook for income growth, the job market, and overall business conditions, fell to 66.4, its lowest reading since March 2013.

Consumer expectations dropped to a 9-year low in June as inflation weighs on the minds of American shoppers. (Source: The Conference Board)
Consumer expectations dropped to a 9-year low in June as inflation weighs on the minds of American shoppers. (Source: The Conference Board)

"Consumers' grimmer outlook was driven by increasing concerns about inflation, in particular rising gas and food prices," said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. "Expectations have now fallen well below a reading of 80, suggesting weaker growth in the second half of 2022 as well as growing risk of recession by year-end."

The Conference Board's report follows consumer sentiment data from the University of Michigan released last week that fell to a record low of 50.2.

The University of Michigan's report had gained outsized investor attention after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell mentioned the inflation expectations component of that data as "eye-catching" during testimony before Congress last week. On Friday, the UMich report showed a slight decline — to 3.1% from 3.3% — in consumer inflation expectations, though this remains above the Fed's 2% inflation target.

A person shops in a supermarket as inflation affected consumer prices in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., June 10, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
A person shops in a supermarket as inflation affected consumer prices in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., June 10, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

On Tuesday, The Conference Board said purchasing plans for large items like homes, cars, and appliances had held "relatively steady," though this data has cooled since the start of the year.

"Looking ahead over the next six months, consumer spending and economic growth are likely to continue facing strong headwinds from further inflation and rate hikes," Franco said.

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