Consumer Sentiment Drops to 2 Year Low

Consumer sentiment continued to slide in November, University of
Michigan/Reuters survey
. The November consumer sentiment index was 75.0 — the lowest
level since October 2005 — and is a slide from October’s 80.9. (consensus was 79.5).

My best guess as to the cause of the low sentiment readings was a lethal combination of depressed Yankee fans, suicidal Home Builders, Fox’ cancellation of this season’s 24, and Larry David.

I was originally going to suggest that $97 Oil and higher food prices were at the root cause of this, but since there is obviously no inflation, it must be something else . . .

Consumer_sent_1109

Source:
UMich Nov. consumer sentiment 75.0 vs 80.9 in Oct.
Ruth Mantell
MarketWatch, 10:04 AM ET Nov 9, 2007

Investors Shred Bernanke’s Outlook, Bet on Rate Cut    
Bloomberg
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=autmiIxgYAMU&

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. UrbanDigs commented on Nov 9

    ha! Larry David def caused all this.

  2. Mort Glickman commented on Nov 9

    Larry’s wife on Curb Your Enthusiasm was a mega bitch. All she did was complain about his behavior. Hey the guy is worth $200 million. You are living the good life on his dime. Appreciate it and kiss his ass. I can’t believe he would ever put up with a bitch like that.

  3. Bob_in_MA commented on Nov 9

    I’m reminded of a story on Bloomberg about six months ago, “Market up on rise in consumer confidence.”

    In the story, one of the main causes cited for the increase in confidence was the rise in the stock market (seriously.)

    What goes around, comes around…

  4. CR commented on Nov 9

    You know what’s sick? It cost me $20 last night to buy the following things: a half gallon of milk, a box of cereal, a loaf of bread, and some juice.

    Not that fancy Whole Foods hippie crap, either – this was Key Foods brand goodness.

    But you’re right, it must be something … else…

  5. CR commented on Nov 9

    You know what’s sick? It cost me $20 last night to buy the following things: a half gallon of milk, a box of cereal, a loaf of bread, and some juice.

    Not that fancy Whole Foods hippie crap, either – this was Key Foods brand goodness.

    But you’re right, it must be something … else…

  6. JKB commented on Nov 9

    This is just another example of the class divide. How dare the proletariat get the blues. It’s a high ole time with low inflation and if you don’t believe it just ask the FED.

    Unfortunately, Joe 6-pack doesn’t listen to what comes out of DC or New York. No, he listens to the cash register at Walmart. And the cash register at Walmart is telling him, he can eat this month but next month maybe not so much. And it is telling him this just as he is starting to worry “he won’t be able to get his kids the G.I. Joe with the kung fu grip”.

    My guess it they’re going to need to put a negative axis on the consumer sentiment graph before it is all said and done.

  7. Peter B commented on Nov 9

    Inflation expectations one year out rose to 3.4% from 3.1%, matching the highest level since Nov ’06.

  8. Boom2Bust.com commented on Nov 9

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Five senior Federal Reserve officials, speaking for the first time since cutting interest rates last week, made generally upbeat comments about the health of the economy and financial markets on Wednesday.

    What’s wrong with all of you? The economy and the financial markets are doing just fine.

    ———
    This message was brought to you by The Federal Reserve. “If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, it makes us feel as though our hard work ain’t been in vain for nothin’. Bless you all.”

  9. BOBD commented on Nov 9

    From a letter carrier in the city of phila, some of my customers- A 55-year-old bookkeeper can’t find a new job. A nail salon closing early and no Sunday due to lack of biz. A pretzel baker owner who has not drawn a paycheck in 18mos and losing biz due to charging a delivery fee due to cost in gas. A large realtor with less cars in lot and losing agents. Also a sister in law who is laid off due to job sent to Texas and a friend whose IBM job sent to India. Why should anybody worry? Oh yea Wall Street won’t get their big bonus this year. The little people are hurting. Maybe the market finally is seeing the little guy.

  10. Tom C.. commented on Nov 9

    Consumer sentiment is a great indication. Had one gone ‘all in’ with stocks in 3/03 or 10/05 you would have nearly picked perfect market turns.

  11. me commented on Nov 9

    I couldn’t understand bernanke telling congress that oil might casue inflation. Duh, ben, oil ins’t CORE, what’s the problem?

  12. muckdog commented on Nov 9

    I think the biggest impact to consumer sentiment may be the writers’ strike, which has caused Fox to cancel this season of 24.

    You know what’s sick? It cost me $20 last night to buy the following things: a half gallon of milk, a box of cereal, a loaf of bread, and some juice.

    Get yourself to a Wal-Mart superstore.

  13. michael schumacher commented on Nov 9

    muck dog-

    not all of us want to participate in the destruction of our local economy simply because you want to save a few quid on toilet paper.

    But I also understand that those choices are slowly eroding, mostly because of places like Wal-Mart.

    Remember you are the one who says inflation is ok….now why would you need a wal-mart superstore eh??

    Ciao
    MS

  14. wunsacon commented on Nov 9

    Muckdog, remember Daffy Duck’s self-immolation trick? He could only do it once.

    A shopper can get a 15%-or-whatever discount by moving to Walmart. But, she just shifted onto a parallel line also moving up at the same positive slope. The “discount” is a one-time switch.

    Plus, in the longer term, after everyone takes your advice, Walmart will have even less competition.

    I got nothing against Walmart except their partial treatment of employee wages and health care as externalities to pass on to the rest of us taxpayers.

  15. Norman commented on Nov 9

    I guess the UofM Consumer Sentiment survey is meant to cause fear but the last time it got this low was Oct 2005. And from the low of that month over the next 12 months the market rose to a max of +18% and didn’t get lower.

    Fear? This is a case for elation!!!!!!! Thanks, Barry.

  16. Tom C.. commented on Nov 9

    “Not all of us wish to participate in the destruction of our local economy”. Get off the high horse. What a load, ciao boy!

  17. CR commented on Nov 9

    Muckdog,

    1) I live in New York City, Wal-Marts don’t exist here. and you really have to be hard on your luck to shop there.

    2) The big issue is, people aren’t going to buy food of lesser quality if they can afford it – they’re just going to spend less money on consumer items, which is the central fear behind food inflation. That, and people who can barely afford food already will starve.

  18. muckdog commented on Nov 9

    not all of us want to participate in the destruction of our local economy simply because you want to save a few quid on toilet paper.

    Well, then pay more for your groceries and quit whining about it. You have the right to pay more. Don’t let me stand in your way.

    Plus, in the longer term, after everyone takes your advice, Wal-Mart will have even less competition.

    No, other companies will lower prices to compete. And if Wal-Mart does raise prices, other stores will rise up and offer better deals. It’s the American way.

    I live in New York City, Wal-Marts don’t exist here.

    There are many places in the country where the wackos have united to stop Wal-Marts. When you rig the market to not allow competition, you’ll be paying higher prices.

    The big issue is, people aren’t going to buy food of lesser quality

    Cheerios are Cheerios, no matter where you buy them. Many or most of the brand names are there.

  19. Ryan commented on Nov 9

    You forgot to mention the writer’s strike. The writer’s strike is pretty darn recessionary.

  20. ken h commented on Nov 9

    The writer’s strike? What a load! I saw one of the desperate housewife’s on CNN yesterday flipping crying because her makeup artist was hurting because of the strike. Why don’t you,…uh…help her out you rich useless piece of carbon.

  21. michael schumacher commented on Nov 9

    muckdog

    There are other places to shop than WM….and you spend less. Sorry if I have to be the one to point that out to you. They also, as previously mentioned by someone else, actually support themselves instead of passing that “savings” on to the shoppers. I don’t shop at WM yet my taxes pay for the health care costs that WM should be shouldering instead of shuffling off to me and you. We all shop at Wal-Mart in a strange twisted way…….I just get nothing for my money.

    I’m glad you support the WM’s who create jobs at severe cost to the tax-payer base it claims to support. So much for saving money on those goods and services.

    Oh, that’s right….inflation is contained according to the core rate.

    Nice try…

    Ciao
    MS

  22. David commented on Nov 9

    Barry, for a guy who tries to find quality data, you surely know that the UM survey is complete, utter, C*** for “predicting” anything with the market, except perhaps, as noted above, a contrary indicator.

    I really wish the financial press would stop reporting it and UM would let it die a deserved death. It’s completely useless, and I don’t think it’s even a good contrary indicator.

  23. wunsacon commented on Nov 9

    Muckdog, you’re overlooking the fact that prices r rising at Walmart, too. You can only switch to Walmart[, Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s] *once*. People who already shop there are facing rising inflation.

  24. muckdog commented on Nov 10

    Inflation is pretty mild. Check out the CPI and PCE. There you go. Around 3%. Big deal. Less if you look at the core.

    I suggested Wal-Mart to the guy who paid $20 for a few things that would cost about $12 at Wal-Mart. It was not a suggestion on how to avoid the ravages of 3% inflation. It was just a tip on how to save a few bucks.

  25. Brian B. commented on Nov 10

    No offense to Walmart employees, but what do they do at the basic level? Oh thats right, they scan little bar codes and accept payment. How much should they make? A fair wage? $8/hr? $15/Hr? I dont know but I wouldn’t pay more than $8-9/hr… low skill, low wage… why is it any different? I hear lots of complaints why doesnt Walmart pay more, these obviosuly come from people that never had a business with employees… you pay them what they are worth plain and simple… oh btw, we just started shopping at a nearby walmart supercenter, the groceries are a lot cheaper, so I will continue shopping there, while others make their silent protests..

  26. Greg0658 commented on Nov 10

    No offense to Walmart employees

    and house them in a pole barn with windows, heated to 65 with no air condition’g, rice mush conveyored in twice a day, a 12×12 cubical furnished with all the amenities $8 an hour x 30 hr per week can provide. The third meal of the day bought off the shelves and consumed in the store breakroom, complete with tables and chairs.

    Don’t like that life – get smarter, with a little luck you can be boss.

  27. Greg0658 commented on Nov 10

    Its not that bad, thank …. America the nation under God. My statement was over the top.

    Got my Wal*Mart Christmas Wish-guide in todays mail. And since I’ll be volunteer ringing again this year, one of my days each week in front of their new store, a dollar out of their pocket from yours, I gotta get my spirit together.

    Happy Holidays … take care of yourself 1st … give what you can afford … Thanks for helping out … God Bless.

  28. Ken commented on Nov 10

    The Michigan consumer sentiment survey is best understood as a coincident indicator of stock prices.

Read this next.

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