Economic Survey Shows Little Relief

Ann Arbor, MI—The August University of Michigan Survey of Consumers, released on Aug. 31, shows continued economic doldrums. The index for August of 91.5 was only slightly below July’s 92.4 but well below last August’s 107.3. The Index of Consumer Expectations also fell, to 85.2 from 88.4 in July and 104.0 last August.

Consumer tax rebates were expected to increase third-quarter spending. But in announcing the monthly results, the survey’s director, Richard Curtin, said, “Given the widespread concerns about future job and income prospects, it should be no surprise that nearly half of all those that expect or have received a tax rebate plan to lessen their debt. Just 18% planned to spend most of it, while 36% planned to add it to their savings.”

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