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October 4, 2021

Richard Curtin comments on inflation

Although consumer sentiment edged upward in September, the overall gain still meant the continuation of depressed optimism, according to the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers.

The relapse in consumer confidence was initially sparked by the Delta variant and supported by an upsurge in inflation and unfavorable long-term prospects for the economy, said U-M economist Richard Curtin, director of the surveys. Richard Curtin said,

“The reaction of consumers to rising prices has been to postpone purchases, given their fears of falling future living standards as well as the presumed transient nature of inflation due to the pandemic. The partisan wrangling about debt ceilings and infrastructure programs, along with rising market interest rates, will produce greater negative spending forces, unless quickly reversed.”

Read the full Michigan News article.

In the Wall Street Journal, Richard Curtin says that high inflation may be weighing on consumer optimism and that consumers are postponing purchases: 'While this reaction may well fade in the months ahead, the shift toward postponement of purchases has been so significant that it could not be quickly reversed.”