Check it out:
"We do not view this survey as a useful indicator of consumer behavior or the economy. The index was likely weighed down heavily by the emotional response to the devastating images that resulted from Hurricane Katrina (including an undermining in confidence in the government’s ability to respond to such events). In addition, the high cost of gasoline likely also took its toll on consumer sentiment. We expect sentiment will slowly recover over the coming months."
— John Ryding, Bear Stearns, in WSJ
Go figure: A measure of sentiment was impacted by emotions . . . funny, I thought the entire point of measuring sentiment was to gage consumer emotions.
Jeez. And some people wonder why I make fun of economists . . .