As we know, this is the week of economic reports. We will wait for the GDP number on Thursday, but the first one is not good news for the Biden administration. This is the summary:
US consumer confidence declined in July to the lowest level since February 2021 on dimmer views of the economy amid persistent inflation.
The Conference Board’s index decreased for a third month to 95.7 from a downwardly revised 98.4 reading in June, data Tuesday showed. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a decline to 97.
The steady weakening in sentiment risks causing consumers to cut back on discretionary purchases at a time when the economy is struggling for momentum. Inflation has dented confidence and forced the Federal Reserve to pursue aggressive interest-rate hikes geared at curbing demand.
There you have it. Honestly, did we need a report to confirm that? We are all seeing with our own eyes and talking to neighbors and family about it. We can hear about layoffs and a softer job market. It’s happening all around us and the report just confirms what we know firsthand. And to make matters worse, half of all Americans are falling deeper into debt as inflation continues to boost costs. I’ve spoken to people who are using their credit cards to buy gasoline or food. It’s a bad idea but they need to eat and drive to work.
At our church, we have a pantry that feeds many people and many are also calling with requests for money to pay the rent. Thankfully, the parishioners keep the pantry full of food for the needy but the rent requests are tough to meet.
That’s the way it is in the summer of 2022. They may not call it a recession but these technicalities matter little to people asking for help. And more and more are asking for help.