What’s bothering US consumers?: Morning Brief

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This article first appeared in the Morning Brief. Get the Morning Brief sent directly to your inbox every Monday to Friday by 6:30 a.m. ET. SubscribeMonday, August 16, 2021Consumer sentiment falls off a cliff in AugustOn Friday morning, our Morning Brief newsletter noted that research from Bank of America suggested a consumer slowdown is likely to be reflected in July's retail sales report, due out Tuesday morning. Just hours later, hard data on how consumers feel about their economic position (as of mid-August) showed sentiment fell off a cliff during the month. The University of Michigan's preliminary reading on consumer sentiment for August showed a drop of 11 points on the headline index to a reading of 70.2, the lowest reading since the pandemic started and the overall lowest level for the series since 2011. This decline was one of the largest on record for the index, which dates back over 50 years. "[The] only larger declines in the Sentiment Index occurred during the
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