U.S. consumer confidence slipped to 119.8
U.S. consumer confidence slipped to 119.8 from 120.4 (122.9) in August but a similar 120.0 in July, as the measure takes a likely hurricane hit. All the confidence surveys have strengthened sharply in 2017 despite some moderation from Q1 peaks, and what is now a small September setback after an August updraft. Consumer confidence remains close to the 16-year high of 124.9 in March. For other September surveys, the Michigan sentiment index fell to 95.3 from 96.8, versus a 13-year high of 98.5 in January. The IBD/TIPP index rose to 53.4 from 52.2 in August and 50.2 in July, versus a 56.4 cycle-high in February. The weekly Bloomberg Consumer Comfort index has slipped to a 51.7 average in the first three weeks of September from a cycle-high 53.3 in the fourth week of August, leaving the figures slightly below the 52.5 monthly cycle-high in August. Confidence, producer sentiment and small business optimism have climbed since October of 2016 in the face of a factory rebound that is trimming excess capacity, equity and home price gains, and fiscal policy relief. The rise has defied restraint in GDP growth from ongoing inventory weakness.