by Bill McBride on 1/18/2013 09:55:00 AM
Friday, January 18, 2013
Click on graph for larger image.
The preliminary Reuters / University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for January declined to 71.3 from the December reading of 72.9.
This was below the consensus forecast of 75.0. There are a number of factors that can impact sentiment including unemployment, gasoline prices and other concerns - and, for January, the payroll tax increase and Congress' threat to not pay the bills.
Back in August 2011, sentiment declined sharply due to the threat of default and the debt ceiling debate. Unfortunately it appears Congress is negatively impacting sentiment once again.