Consumer confidence weakened a bit in January

Consumers’ outlook on the economy weakened slightly in January, according to the University of Michigan’s monthly survey.

The final consumer sentiment index was 92 for January. Economists had estimated a print of 93 for January, down a bit from a prior reading of 93.3.

The decline reflected some concern about household wealth due to the stock market’s decline, according to Richard Curtin, chief economist of the Survey of Consumers.

He said in the release, “To be sure, the overall level of confidence is below last January’s peak, but thus far, the decline amounts to just 6.2%, indicating slower growth, not a recession in 2016. Consumers anticipate that the growth slowdown will be accompanied by smaller wage gains and slight increases in unemployment by the end of 2016.”

Expectations for higher wages fell to the lowest level since August 2014.

“Details of the survey suggest consumer attitudes about household finances and incomes have not shifted from favourable levels, despite recent financial market volatility,” wrote BNP Paribas’ Laura Rosner to clients. “This should bode well for the consumer spending outlook.”

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