Confidence among U.S. consumers fell more than anticipated in February to the lowest level since April 2009 as the outlook for jobs diminished, a sign spending may be slow to gain traction as the economy recovers.The chart above comes from here with manual annotation by me for the February data point.
Stocks extended losses and Treasuries gained after the report indicated a lack of job growth and impaired household finances threaten to restrain consumer spending. Without sustained growth in the biggest part of the economy, the expansion may be slow to gain momentum.
The economy “may not be out of the woods,” said Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist at Mizuho Securities USA Inc. in New York. Most of the deterioration “is labor market related. Consumer spending is going to disappoint throughout most of the year,” he said.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 0.9 percent to 1,098.26 at 10:47 a.m. in New York. The 10-year Treasury note rose, pushing down the yield seven basis points to 3.73 percent.
Economists forecast confidence would decrease to 55 from a previously reported 55.9 for January, according to the median of 68 projections in a Bloomberg survey. Estimates ranged from 50.9 to 59.