"Consumer sentiment slipped in early July (97.1) but remained nearly equal to the average in the prior twelve months (97.7) and since the start of 2017 (97.4)," the University of Michigan said in its latest Survey of Consumers report.
- The continuing strength has been due to favorable job and income prospects, with consumers under age 45 anticipating the largest income gains since July 2000.
- The darkening cloud on the horizon, however, is due to rising concerns about the potential negative impact of tariffs on the domestic economy.
- Negative concerns about the impact of tariffs have recently accelerated, rising from 15% in May, to 21% in June, and 38% in July.
- While consumers may not understand the intricacies of trade theory, they have substantial experience making decisions about the timing of discretionary purchases based on prospective trends in prices.
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