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Consumer confidence falls, led by a sharp decline in sentiment toward making a major purchase and the housing market

Microsoft News 7/23/2019

Consumer confidence declined over past two weeks, according to the Microsoft News-CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index, powered by Hamilton Place Strategies. After a month-long increase consumer confidence fell 1.2 points to a reading of 53.2. While a significant drop, the reading still remains above June's dip to 51.6 points.

Four of the ESI's five indicators decreased during the reading. Consumer confidence toward making a major purchase experienced the largest decline, falling by 2.5 points to 54.7. Confidence in the housing market also fell significantly, decreasing by 2.4 points to 49.8. Economic sentiment toward the broader U.S. economy and the job market declined by 1.4 and 0.4 points, respectively. Meanwhile, economic sentiment toward personal finances was the sole indicator to increase, rising 0.9 points to 65.7.

The decline in consumer confidence comes as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testified in front of Congress suggesting a potential Fed rate cut later in July due to slowing economic conditions.

The three-day rolling average was fairly volatile during the reading period. The rolling average began at 53.6 before rising to its peak of 54.4 on July 17. It then steadily decreased, ending the reading period at 52.3 on July 23, 2.1 points below its peak.

The next release of the ESI will be on Tuesday, August 6, 2019.

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