This week’s Sentiment Survey special question asked AAII members how they think the average consumer is faring relative to a year ago. More than half of all respondents (56%) think the average consumer is doing better. Credit is given to the strong job market, rising wages, tax cuts and lower gasoline prices. Almost 15% think the average consumer is faring about the same as last year. About 14% of respondents think the average consumer is faring worse, with inflation and debt given as reasons. Approximately 7% say the average consumer is doing well now but could be hurt next year if the trade war intensifies and/or interest rates continue to rise.
Here is a sampling of the responses:
- “Much better. More are employed, wages are up and gasoline is down.”
- “I think the average consumer is faring better because unemployment and inflation are low, and wages are rising.”
- “Better due to the reduction in income taxes, generally. Consumer spending is up.”
- “I think the average consumer is overextended with too much household debt.”
- “About the same. The adverse impact of the tariffs and trade wars haven’t been felt yet.”
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