This week’s Sentiment Survey special question asked AAII members how they think the average consumer is faring relative to a year ago. Slightly more than half of respondents (53%) said the average consumer is doing better, though many of them described the consumer as only doing somewhat or a little better. Gas prices were the top reason given as to why, though several respondents mentioned employment and/or economic growth. Roughly the same number of respondents (about 15% each) said the average consumer is faring about the same as last year or is faring worse. Though the decline in gas prices are viewed as a positive, stagnant wage growth and inflation in other areas were cited as headwinds.
Here is a sampling of the responses:
- “Better. The economy is improving and oil prices are falling.”
- “Better in part to more employment, falling heating and driving costs and the housing recovery.”
- “Somewhat better due to lower unemployment, modest wage gains in some areas and lower fuel prices.”
- “May be helped by lower gasoline prices, but is also facing rising food and housing prices.”
- “Not much better. Job growth, and, more importantly, income growth has been slow.”