Consumer outlooks brightening more among Democrats than Republicans: UMich survey

In this news, we discuss the Consumer outlooks brightening more among Democrats than Republicans: UMich survey.

(Reuters) – Democratic consumers gained ground over their Republican counterparts in their assessment of the economic outlook in early October as the White House race that appears to increasingly favor their candidate enters its home stretch.

Overall U.S. consumer sentiment edged up to a seven-month high in early October, fueled by rising optimism for the future, according to the preliminary reading of the Consumer Sentiment Index. University of Michigan consumer surveys.

But the gain came largely on the backs of consumers who identify as Democrats who have become noticeably more optimistic, while confidence in the future among those who identify as Republicans has increased negligibly.

Readings of economic expectations reached their limits for consumers on both sides in May – after two consecutive months of nationwide business shutdowns to contain COVID-19, the economy has jumped. Since then, optimism for the Democrats’ future has rebounded sharply, even as their assessment of current conditions has barely improved, an improvement that matches the trajectory of polls showing an increasingly broad lead for the. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden over incumbent Republican President Donald Trump.

In fact, the University of Michigan’s expectation index for Democratic consumers improved 44% from the May low compared to a gain of just 15% among Republican consumers.

Throughout Trump’s presidency, Republicans have been more inclined to have a better economic outlook than Democrats, just as Democrats have tended to have a rosier outlook throughout Barack Obama’s eight-year term in office. oval office. But that margin of Republican optimism now sits at its narrowest point in Trump’s presidency.

Of all households in the survey, 52% now expect Biden to win from 48% in July, August and September, while those who saw a Trump win have fallen to 45% from 47% on the same period. This represents a net gain of six percentage points for Biden.

Additionally, fewer Republican consumers now expect Trump to win next month than in the previous three months, while Democratic consumers have grown more confident in a Biden victory, University data shows. from Michigan.

“While the self-identified Democrats and Republicans strongly favored their own party’s candidate, this proportion increased by 8 points among Democrats and decreased by 5 percentage points among Republicans,” said Richard Curtin, economist. in Chief of Consumer Surveys.

Yet, he said, all may not be lost for Trump because independents see him winning by a narrow margin.

“Most elections are decided by those who are not aligned with either party,” Curtin said. “The views of the independents have remained unchanged and almost even, giving Trump a slight 2-3 point advantage.”

Reporting by Dan Burns; Editing by Tom Brown

Original © Thomson Reuters

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