According to Prosper Insight & Analytics, consumer sentiment took a nosedive in January, down four points to 42.5%, the proportion of consumers who are confident or very confident in the prospects for a growing economy. Despite that, however, purchasing sentiment held steady from last month.
Only 36.2% of consumers said they’d become more practical in purchasing when asked earlier this month, about the same as in December. More consumers said they were focusing on needed purchases rather than those they simply want to make, however, at 42.5%, about half a point higher than last month.
Although only 35.4% of consumers are optimistic about a strengthening economy, a figure just a bit below last month’s number, the proportion of pessimists with a negative economic outlook actually decreased in January, to 25.7%. The largest, and the only growing, group of consumers are those that aren’t sure what to make of the economy, with their proportion at 36.9%.