The University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey fell to 92.9 in August from a final reading of 93.1 in July, missing Wall Street expectations of 93.5.
“Consumer confidence was virtually unchanged in early August from the July reading, marking its highest nine month average since 2004. Renewed strength in personal finances largely offset slight declines in prospects for the national economy and buying conditions,” said Surveys of Consumers’ chief economist Richard Curtin. “The declines in prospects for the economy probably reflect the expected increases in interest rates, while the eventual but small impacts from falling commodity prices, the devaluation of the renminbi, and a weaker global economy have yet to occur (other than from declines in oil prices).”
The survey is the preliminary — or first reading — for the month of August. In July, the gauge shed several points from its preliminary reading when the final reading was released. However, Curtin said the anticipation is modest growth regardless of the final reading.
“The most important offset to these concerns is that consumption expenditures can be expected to expand at an annual rate of 3.0 percent in 2015 and 2016, prompting continuing net gains in jobs and incomes,” Curtin added.