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Consumers less optimistic about economy in August

Divided on which presidential candidate is better

After what seemed like a positive start at the beginning of August, Consumer Sentiment decreased slightly from July, according to the University of Michigan.

The Index of Consumer Sentiment dropped to 89.8, down 0.2% from July’s index of 90. It is also down 2.3% from last year’s 91.9.

“Less favorable personal financial prospects were largely offset by a slight improvement in the outlook for the overall economy,” said Richard Curtin, Surveys of Consumers chief economist.  

“Most of the weakness in personal finances was among younger households who cited higher expenses than anticipated as well as slightly smaller expected income gains,” Curtin said.

Near the beginning of August, many consumers began shifting from concerns about Brexit to concerns about the upcoming elections.

“Although consumers increasingly expect a Clinton victory, consumers remained nearly equally split on which candidate would actually improve overall economic conditions or their own personal finances,” Curtin said.

According to a special report by Redfin, a residential real estate company that provides web-based real estate database and brokerage services, in June, 27% of homebuyers said this election will negatively affect the housing market.

“Just as low inflation has provided strong support for real income gains, low interest rates have increasingly become the sole driver of large discretionary expenditures.”

Mortgage rates didn’t move this week and remain near all-time lows as the market remains cautious before gaining more information on the second quarter’s GDP growth.

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