Regular readers of this Lakeland real estate blog may recall reports last month that showed Consumer Sentiment numbers falling to 4-month lows in August. Though this decrease was not great news on the face of things, the drop wasn’t nearly as large as economists expected. So, as it was, Wall Street was happy to see it.
However, since hitting rock bottom about 5 months ago, Consumer Sentiment has increased by more than 10 points.
Why We Care About Consumer Sentiment Numbers
Put simply, the Consumer Sentiment index is the most important financial sector number we can track. If Lakeland, Florida consumers are spending, the local economy gets a bump and things begin to brighten up. However, if local shoppers begin to save more than they spend, local businesses see the brunt of that, too.
Call out all the other stats you like, but Consumer Sentiment numbers are – quite frankly – where the rubber meets the road.
The Consumer Sentiment Index for the Nation is a jointly published report put out by the University of Michigan and Reuters. In short, it measures how Americans feel about their situation today, and how they envision it six months in the future.
Rising Consumer Sentiment figures serve as a sign of economic growth, mainly because confident consumers are more likely to spend money on big-ticket items including appliances, automobiles, and, of course, new Lakeland homes.
Recent Consumer Sentiment data reports provide one more reason to believe a full economic recovery is underway.
This said, the National Consumer Sentiment survey is by no means a perfect crystal ball. There are a few reasons for this.
First, the survey’s sample set includes only 500 households nationwide – far from representing a true cross-section of America. Second, just because people feel more confident about their finances doesn’t always mean they’ll spend more money — sometimes, they choose to save.
For the present, stronger-than-expected Consumer Sentiment data should provide a boost to both Lakeland retail sales and Lakeland home sales volume through the fall season, and may even create some inflationary pressure on the economy.
Should present Consumer Confidence levels remain constant over the next month or so – Lakeland mortgage rates will surely rise. So, do keep this in mind if you’re looking to refinance or buy a Lakeland, Florida home anytime soon.