retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg reports that “the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment fell to 68.2, the lowest in five months, from 77.5 in February,” suggesting that rising fuel prices and squeezed household budgets were having a toll on consumer confidence.

At the same time, “The survey’s gauge of current conditions, which reflects Americans’ perceptions of their financial situation and whether it is a good time to buy big-ticket items like cars, fell to 83.6 from 86.9 the prior month.”

The story goes on: “Today’s report mirrors other consumer gauges. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index dropped to minus 44.5 in the week to March 6, from the prior week’s minus 39.7, which was close to the highest in almost three years. Sentiment suffered the most among respondents who lacked a full-time job or any employment and those earning less than $50,000 a year.”
KC's View:
And all these measurements took place before the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. One can only imagine what those events are doing to consumer confidence all over the globe.