As individuals consider COVID-19 and the potential of the economy reopening again, American consumer sentiment dropped for the third consecutive month per University of Michigan data. The consumer sentiment index dropped to 71.8 in April compared to forecasted result of 67, CNBC reported.
Surveys of Consumers Chief Economist Richard Curtin said per the report, “Consumers’ reactions to relaxing restrictions will be critical, either putting further pressure on states to reopen their economies, or exerting added pressure to extend the restrictions even if it has negative consequences for economic prospects.”
Curtin continued, “The risks associated with these decisions are not equally balanced, with an incorrect decision to reopen having serious repercussions.”
The COVID-19 crisis has brought about over 26 million job possess during the preceding five weeks. With the steep drops in employment, some are seeking to have the economy open again and stay-at-home measures relaxed.
Over 860,000 instances of the coronavirus have been confirmed domestically, with the inclusion of almost 50,000 deaths per Johns Hopkins University.
In March, news surfaced that consumer sentiment in the United States was down to a three-and-a-half year low because of the impacts of COVID-19 and social distancing procedures.
“People are struggling to understand the magnitude and duration of the economic shock from COVID-19,” FHN Financial Chief Economist Chris Low said per a past report. “Job losses are the most vivid demonstration of the new reality. As the reality sinks in, confidence is likely to fall into the mid-50s by May.”
The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index fell to 89.1 last month. That was its lowest level as of October 2016. In February, it was 101. Consumer expectations decreased to 79.7 last month from 92.1 the month before. The University of Michigan had noted it would drop more because of less household income and heightened unemployment per the March report.
The Commerce Department had noted that consumer spending was higher by 0.2 percent in February as consumers spent on fuel and electricity.