U.S. Consumer Sentiment Gauge Declines to a Six-Month Low [View all]
By Lorraine Woellert - 2012-06-15T14:13:50Z
Confidence among U.S. consumers declined in June to the lowest level this year as the labor market showed few signs of improving.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment fell in June to 74.1 from 79.3 the prior month, which was the highest since October 2007. The gauge was projected to fall to 77.5, according to a median forecast of 66 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
A pace of job growth that’s slowed for four straight months and wage gains that are failing to keep pace with inflation are offsetting cheaper prices at the gas pump. At the same time, households may be feeling less wealthy as Europe’s debt crisis roils share prices, raising the risk that consumer spending will stagnate.
“I’m not so sure how much the average American is in tune with what is exactly occurring in Europe,” Russell Price, senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Detroit, said before today’s report. “But it is at the front of their minds, because they’re seeing stock values decline and they’re seeing job growth decline and that’s worrisome.”