This week’s Sentiment Survey special question asked AAII members how they thought the average consumer is fairing relative to a year ago. The majority of respondents (57%) perceive that consumers are faring better. Job and wage growth, continued economic growth, rising stock prices, low inflation and optimism were among the reasons given. About 16% say the average consumer is faring about the same as last year, while 15% believe the average consumer is faring worse. Stagnant or low wage growth along with rising prices (including housing and health care) were commonly listed as reasons why.
Here is a sampling of the responses:
- “People are feeling better. The markets are up, unemployment is down and wages are rising.”
- “About the same because the small increases in wages are offset by the small rise in inflation.”
- “Better. The economy and the stock market are both improving.”
- “Not well. Prices are going up, while incomes are stagnant.”
- “More optimistic. Employment is up and asset prices are up.”
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