by Carrie Sheffield
Consumer confidence is still far below the record highs set under the Trump administration, and a new report by the Conference Board warns ongoing consumer doldrums about the future could spell future recession.
The latest report released Tuesday by the Conference Board, a non-profit research organization funded by more than 1,000 corporations, found consumer confidence improved slightly in September for the second consecutive month due to jobs, wages and declining gas prices, but that “recession risks nonetheless persist” due to a sluggish uptick in the Expectations Index.
The report also found consumers were mixed about their short-term financial prospects, with 18.4% of consumers expecting their incomes to increase, up from 16.6% but conversely, 14.3% expecting their incomes to decrease, up from 13.9%. Just 20.8% of consumers said business conditions were “good,” up slightly from 19.0%., while 21.2% of consumers said business conditions were “bad,” down slightly from 22.6%.
Consumer sentiment was sailing along record highs under the Trump administration, but now this latest Expectations Index still has us in recession territory. So despite spending trillions of dollars in stimulus cash and programs and passing trillions more, the Biden administration has almost nothing to show for it, except the fact that now nearly 70% of Americans are looking for extra work to combat inflation.
President Joe Biden also reportedly might sign into law money in the proposed CR congressional spending package to help households afford winter heating. Talk about doublespeak. On the one hand, Democrats rammed through the largest green energy spending in American history and now they want more taxpayer dollars to subsidize carbon-based winter fuel because prices spiked due to their failed policies. What a scam!
It’s no wonder then that new economic numbers from The Heritage Foundation show the average American has lost the equivalent of $4,200 in annual income under the Biden administration due to the ravages of record-high inflation and higher interest rates. Heritage noted that consumer prices have risen 12.7% since January 2021, far faster than wages, which translates to the average American worker losing $3,000 in annual purchasing power.
Further, as the Federal Reserve implements tighter monetary policy to reduce inflation, interest rates are rising. Higher rates have in turn increased borrowing costs on mortgages, vehicle loans, credit cards and more. The higher interest rates and borrowing costs have effectively reduced the average American’s purchasing power another $1,200 on an annualized basis.
They say the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over again. Let’s hope that in November, voters realize there are specific policies that created this economic mess, and there are specific ways to get out of it proposed — ways by folks like the House GOP team.
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Carrie Sheffield is a senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Voice.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.