Consumer sentiment slips
The Pulse is down a beat today on news that Americans are less enthusiastic about spending their hard-earned cash than we were a month ago. That’s according to the February consumer-sentiment index from Reuters and the University of Michigan. It fell 2.5 points, from a one-year high of 75 in January. (To give you a little perspective, the index has soared as high as 112 in January of 2000 and sunk as low as 55.3 in November 2008.)
The drop seems counterintuitive for those who follow macroeconomic issues closely. Markets are up (the Dow’s up more than 2,000 points since October), jobs are returning (the U.S. economy added 243,000 new jobs in January), wronged homeowners got some relief this week (in the form of a $25 billion settlement between big banks and the Feds), and even Greece seems to have grabbed a lifeline (in the form of a $172 billion eurozone bailout).
So why the fall dip in consumer sentiment?
Many economists are looking past the rose-tinted headlines and pointing out that average Americans are still struggling with real issues, like stagnant wages and creeping gas prices.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.