Consumers are still confident in the economy, but they’re worries are growing.
The numbers: Americans were more optimistic about the economy in September, but they’re anxious about the festering trade dispute with China and other potential perils.
The final consumer sentiment survey rose to 93.2 in September from an early estimate of 92, the University of Michigan said Friday.
The increase marks a small bounce back from an 89.8 reading in August that was the lowest in three years. Sentiment fell in August after the U.S. trade fight with China took a turn for the worse and stock markets suffered a temporary setback.
What happened: The trade war with China is not the only thing on the minds of Americans. Many are worried about other events outside the U.S. impinging on the economy, such as the chaotic British exit from the European Union known as “Brexit.
Nor is the U.S. labor market viewed as having the same strength. Fewer people polled expect incomes to keep rising or unemployment to keep falling.
As has been the case throughout the Trump presidency, Democrats are more pessimistic and Republicans are more optimistic. The opposite was true during the Obama years.
Big picture: The confidence of consumers in the economy has been tested by the ongoing trade fight with China and other signs that U.S. growth is slowing. A potential attempt by Democrats to impeach President Trump is likely to add to the anxiety.
The economy will probably muddle along through the rest of the year until the trade and political disputes are resolved or die down, analysts say.
What they are saying? “The overall trends in the Sentiment Index remain quite favorable, but show signs of a slow erosion.,” said Richard Curtin, chief economist of the sentiment survey.