US consumer confidence remains at depressed levels in September
Consumers in the US grew a bit more confident last month but remained depressed overall, perhaps the most closely-followed sentiment survey revealed.
The University of Michigan's consumer confidence index edged up to a level of 72.8 for September from 70.3 in August.
Richard Curtin, the survey director, highlighted the fact that many consumers were opting to postpone purchases, viewing as they did the current spike in prices as transitory.
That led him to judge that: "Consumers do not view economic conditions as conducive to establishing an inflationary psychology, a self-fulfilling prophecy.
"Instead, consumers have favored postponement due to what they still consider a transient spike in prices. While this reaction may well fade in the months ahead, the shift toward postponement of purchases has been so significant that it could not be quickly reversed."
He also noted that even if transient, higher inflation was already subtracting from spending power, as was the "wrangling" on Capitol Hill and the recent rise in market interest rates.