According to a University of Michigan survey, consumer sentiment in the U.S. slipped during early January, with the decline primarily focused on prospects for the domestic economy.
Consumers judged the year-ahead outlook for the national economy as worst since those polled in mid 2014.
Consumer sentiment slipped to its lowest level since Donald Trump was elected U.S. President, according to the survey. The decline resulted from a host of issues including the partial government shutdown, the impact of tariffs, instabilities in financial markets, the global slowdown and the lack of clarity about monetary policies. The survey maintained that, aside from the direct economic impact, the indirect effect is such that half of surveyed consumers believed recent developments would have a negative impact on Trump’s ability to focus on economic growth.
The January falloff in optimism is certainly consistent with a slowdown in the pace of growth, the survey added, but it does not yet indicate the start of a sustained downturn in economic activity, given the strength in personal finances that will continue to support consumption expenditures at favorable levels.