US consumer optimism hits decade low

Consumers should start holiday shopping early amid supply chain crunch: National Retail Federation CEO

National Retail Federation CEO Matt Shay provides insight into the supply chain crisis and labor shortage. 

U.S. consumer sentiment has hit a low for the decade fueled by concerns over rising inflation, according to the latest numbers.

The University of Michigan released its November consumer survey data on Wednesday, indicating that one in four respondents "cited inflationary erosions of their living standards" this month. The index is currently at 67.4%, down from 71.7% in October.

A woman carries shopping bags in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

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"Consumers expressed less optimism in the November 2021 survey than any other time in the past decade about prospects for their own finances as well as for the overall economy," said University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin in a statement.

People shop at a Walmart in Rosemead, California on November 22, 2021, where a few empty shelves were seen in an otherwise well stocked store amid improvements in the supply chain crisis for the end of year holiday season. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"The decline was due to a combination of rapidly escalating inflation combined with the absence of federal policies that would effectively redress the inflationary damage to household budgets," Curtin continued. "While pandemic induced supply-line shortages were the precipitating cause, the roots of inflation have grown and spread more broadly across the economy."

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 12: Shoppers search for clothing at Uniqlo Retail Clothing Company November 12, 2021 in New York City. Clothing prices have been on the rise in 2021, climbing 4.3% in August as compared to the same time the previous year. (Pho (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

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Also on Wednesday, the Personal Consumption Expenditures price index – which the Federal Reserve uses as its inflation gauge – reached its highest level in 31 years, soaring 5% on the year through last month.

FOX Business' Megan Henney contributed to this report.

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