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April 18, 2023

Joanne Hsu discussed consumer sentiment and spending

Marketplace reported on mixed signals in the U.S. economy: retail sales were down in March but consumer sentiment was up for April. Using a Wile E. Coyote metaphor, Marketplace wondered if U.S. consumers are falling off of the economic cliff.

“No, we’re not seeing a falloff of the cliff at all,” said Joanne Hsu from the University of Michigan. She said it’s more like the coyote is windmilling, trying to stay aloft by spending it up. Hsu pointed out the decline in March retail sales partly reflects falling prices for things like gasoline.