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US Consumer Confidence Fell with Rise in Covid-19 Delta Variant

In August, Consumer Confidence in the United States dipped to a six-month low as concerns over rising COVID-19 infections and more outstanding prices clouded the economy’s prospects. Moreover, according to a Conference Board survey released on Tuesday, consumers are less likely to buy a home and big-ticket items like cars and major household appliances in the next six months. This bolstered the assumption that consumer spending will slow in the third quarter following two-quarters of solid growth.

Still, more people planned vacations, reflecting a shift in spending from products to services as the economy returns to normal after the coronavirus outbreak. Increased spending on services, which make up most economic activity, should keep consumer spending in check. From 125.1 in July, the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence index fell to 113.8 this month, the lowest since February.

The index was expected to decrease to 124.0 by economists polled by Reuters. The survey ended on August 25, before 13 service members were killed in Afghanistan and Hurricane Ida devastated Louisiana. Compared to other surveys, the measure, which lays a greater emphasis on the job market, performed admirably with rising prices for products like food and gasoline and a rebound in COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta version of the coronavirus. According to a poll conducted by the University of Michigan, the consumer mood fell to near-decade lows in August.

Inflation forecasts for the next 12 months increased to 6.8% from 6.6 percent last month. However, there are hints that inflationary pressures have peaked. Data released last week shows that the Federal Reserve’s favored inflation index rose at its slowest pace in five months in July. The main indexes on Wall Street were hovering near all-time highs. Against a basket of currencies, the dollar remained stable. Treasury prices in the United States were lower.

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