US consumer confidence recovers in September as Democrats grow more optimistic
US consumer confidence overall rose back to its highs from April, having moved roughly sideways since then, the results of a closely-followed survey revealed.
However, the preliminary results of the University of Michigan's latest monthly survey also revealed that the elections were beginning to impact the calculations of the average American, survey director Richard Curtin said.
The University of Michigan's consumer confidence gauge improved from a reading of 74.1 for August to 78.9 in September (consensus: 74.9), with similar gains for sub-indices tied to consumers' expectations and for how they perceive the current juncture.
When asked who would win the elections, a question posed by the university before each presidential contest since 1976, consumers were evenly split, Curtin explained.
Interestingly, they had correctly anticipated the result of every elections, save the last one, when two-thirds of consumers had anticipated a win by Hillary Clinton.
Yet the improvement in consumer confidence in September was led by those who said they voted Democrat, while economic optimism weakened among Republicans.
Curiously, respondents from both parties believed that Trump would be better for the economy, although most thought neither candidate was better for their own personal finances.
"Over the next several months, there are two factors that could cause volatile shifts and steep losses in consumer confidence: how the election is decided and the delays in obtaining vaccinations.
"While the end of the recession will depend on these non-economic factors, the hardships endured by consumers can only be offset by renewed federal relief payments."