John Robertson

The next University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading based on interviews in the first part of October is due for release on 11 October. It will have more than its usual capacity to move markets in the absence of official statistics dropped as a result of the US government shutdown. Strong growth - driven by consumer spending - depends heavily on improving consumer sentiment. I have posted a chart at (VIEW LINK) showing the connection between US GDP growth and consumer sentiment movements since 1960. US consumer confidence (the yellow line in the chart) has been rising through 2012 and 2013 but only to average levels, at best, and remains susceptible to bad news. Failure to pay government employees, possible talk of a debt rating downgrade and weaker equity markets will most likely dampen consumer sentiment and, with that, growth expectations.


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