U.S. consumer confidence slumps in February amid labor market, political concerns


(MENAFN) In February, US consumer confidence experienced a decline following three consecutive months of increases, primarily driven by household apprehensions regarding the labor market and the domestic political climate. The Conference Board reported on Tuesday that its consumer confidence index dropped to 106.7 this month, down from a downwardly revised 110.9 recorded in January. Economists, who were surveyed by Reuters, had anticipated only a slight alteration in the index to 115.0 from the previous reading of 114.8.

Dana Peterson, the chief economist at the Conference Board in Washington, highlighted that responses collected in February underscored shifting concerns among consumers. While overall inflation remains a significant worry, particularly amidst the ongoing economic landscape, consumers exhibited reduced apprehensions regarding food and gas prices, which have demonstrated a decline in recent months. However, there has been a notable increase in concerns surrounding the labor market conditions and the prevailing political environment within the United States.

One notable aspect revealed by the data is the decline in consumer price inflation expectations, which fell to 5.2 percent in February, marking the lowest level observed since March 2020. This decrease, from 5.3 percent recorded in January, reflects a shift in consumer perceptions amidst evolving economic dynamics. Despite the lingering concerns regarding inflation, the moderation in price expectations may signify a recalibration of consumer sentiment in response to recent economic trends.

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