Inflation worries intensify U.S. consumer confidence drops to 10-year low

U.S. consumer confidence has weakened to its lowest level in a decade, reflecting Americans’ concerns about price increases and their belief that Biden Administration Failed to solve the problem of soaring inflation.

University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index According to a survey released on Friday, it fell to 66.8 in November. This is lower than the 71.7 in October and much lower than the 72.4 predicted by economists.

This month’s decline in sentiment is “escalating Inflation rate Richard Curtin, chief economist of the university’s consumer survey, said consumers are increasingly convinced that effective policies have not yet been formulated to reduce the damage caused by soaring inflation.

The decline in consumer confidence is accompanied by new evidence that as the number of resignations reaches new heights, the nationwide worker shortage has become more apparent. Data released on Friday showed that 4.4 million Americans resigned in September, while the number of job vacancies remained close to historical highs.

JP Morgan Chase economist Daniel Silver said: “Today’s report seems to be consistent with the difficulty of labor supply to meet labor demand. It is difficult for companies to fill job vacancies, and workers have the ability or confidence in their abilities to find other jobs.”

Ian Lyngen, director of US interest rate strategy at BMO Capital Markets, said the data confirms the view that wages need to be increased further to attract workers, which may lead to higher inflation.

In the Michigan survey, a quarter of consumers mentioned a decline in living standards related to inflation, which has the greatest impact on low-income and elderly consumers. Consumers reported an increase in nominal income, but half of households said that after adjusting for inflation, they expect their income to decrease next year.

The Biden administration has been eager to assure Americans that because rising prices may weaken the ability to recover from the pandemic, it is focusing on fighting inflation.

After data showed that consumer prices in October rose 6.2% from the same period last year, the fastest growth rate in 30 years, this week’s news became even more urgent as inflationary pressures in the entire economy expanded to be related to the reopening of the pandemic. Outside of the department.

During a visit to the Port of Baltimore on Wednesday, after the data was released, Joe Biden admitted that inflation had put pressure on family budgets. “Everything from a gallon of gasoline to a loaf of bread is expensive,” he said. “Even if wages rise, the situation is worse. We still face challenges.”

Senior Fed officials, including Chairman Jay Powell and Vice Chairman Richard Clarida, have previously stated that they expect the sharp rise in inflation in the past few months will prove to be “temporary” and follow supply chain disruption. Fading gradually. Fixed and stable labor market. But economists said that recent inflation data challenged this view.

“The description that inflation will be’temporary’ implies that consumers can’grin and bear it’ because economic policy relies on rapid and automatic self-correction of supply and labor shortages,” Curtin said.

“On the contrary, unlike any previous recession, this pandemic has caused economic chaos and is intertwined with party interpretations of economic development.”

Curtin said that respondents in the survey said that the frequency of house, vehicle and durable goods price increases has been at any time in more than half a century.

Consumers’ inflation forecast for the next year rose slightly by 0.1 percentage point to 4.9%, the highest level since July 2008. Their five-year outlook remains stable at 2.9%.

Market indicators of inflation expectations point to a weaker outlook, although they have risen significantly in recent days.

10-year breakeven rate, 1 Popular measuresIt jumped to 2.73% last Friday and reached the 2006 level last time.

“High house prices are weakening spending power, but given Americans have ample cash, suppressed demand, and increasing spending month after month, the impact on spending levels may be small. Inflation concerns,” a corporate economist at the Navy Federal Credit Union Robert Frick said.

Analysts from the Oxford Economics Institute also pointed out that despite inflationary pressures, consumers “continue to consume at a healthy rate.” However, they said that the supply chain problems may worsen in the fourth quarter, indicating that consumer confidence will also struggle to rebound this year.

Additional reporting by Mamta Badkar in New York

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