A University of Michigan economist says consumer confidence eased in August after reaching its highest level in six years in the prior month of July.
According to Richard Curtin, director of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers, the August survey indicates that the recent confidence gains have stalled as consumers await decisions on the federal budget and monetary policy.
Curtin says unlike a year ago, consumers do not anticipate that the budgetary issues will develop into a similar Congressional stalemate, but few express a great deal of confidence in the economic policies of the government.
The Consumer Sentiment Index was 82.1 in the August 2013 survey, down from 85.1 in July but above last August’s 74.3.
The Expectations Index fell to 73.7 in August, down from 76.5 in July, remaining well above last August’s 65.1. The Current Conditions Index was 95.2 in August, down from 98.6 in July, but well above last August’s 88.7.