Americans Concerned About Inflation and Government Shutdown, According to Consumer Sentiment Survey
Amidst rising gas prices and uncertainty about the economy, Americans are expressing concerns about inflation and the possibility of a government shutdown. According to a preliminary reading of consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan, sentiment in September declined by 1.8 points compared to the previous month.
While Americans are not yet feeling the impact of higher gas prices, they are still on edge about the direction of the economy. The University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers Director, Joanne Hsu, noted that “consumers remain relatively tentative about the trajectory of the economy.” She also mentioned that few consumers have mentioned the potential government shutdown, but if it were to occur, consumer views on the economy would likely slide.
Gas prices are highly visible indicators of inflation, and sentiment could start to sour if they continue to rise. Last summer, sentiment reached its lowest level on record when gas prices exceeded $5 per gallon and inflation reached a four-decade high. Currently, the national average for regular gasoline stands at $3.87 per gallon, which is seven cents higher than a week ago and 17 cents higher than the same day last year.
In addition to concerns about inflation, consumers’ expectations of inflation rates in the year ahead have also decreased. In September, the expected inflation rate fell to 3.1%, down from 3.5% in the previous month.
The ongoing developments regarding inflation, gas prices, and the possibility of a government shutdown are causing uncertainty among Americans. As the situation continues to unfold, consumer sentiment may be further influenced, leading to changes in economic behavior and spending patterns.
It is important to note that this story is still developing, and more updates are expected as new information becomes available.