U.S. consumer sentiment dropped sharply in early August to its lowest level in a decade, as Americans gave faltering outlooks on everything from personal finances to inflation and employment, a survey showed on Friday.
The University of Michigan said its preliminary consumer sentiment index fell to 70.2 in the first half of this month, from a final reading of 81.2 in July. That was the lowest level since 2011, and there have been only two larger declines in the index over the past 50 years.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index would remain unchanged at 81.2.
U.S. stock market indexes slipped immediately after the report was released, while the price of gold, a safe-haven investment, gained ground. U.S. Treasury bond yields hit session lows.
Economic growth is still expected to grow this year at its fastest pace in four decades after falling into a brief recession in 2020 caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the recovery is showing some indication of cooling off and COVID-19 cases have doubled in the past two weeks to reach a six-month peak as the more transmissible Delta variant spreads rapidly across the country. Labor shortages across the service sector also persist while supply chain disruptions have continued.
Click here to read the full story from Evan Sully and Lindsay Dunsmuir at Reuters.