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Economic Viewpoint

The Ambivalence of US Consumers

December 12, 2023
Francis Généreux
Principal Economist

The US economy has been holding up well in the face of high interest rates. The labour market and consumer spending have been especially resilient. Real consumption growth has been surprisingly robust despite polls and consumer confidence surveys suggesting Americans are downbeat and unhappy. Inflation continues to be the biggest pain point for households, though factors like political affiliation appear to be affecting consumer sentiment as well. Consumer behaviour is also being influenced by interest rates (though less than expected) and household saving habits.

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