Wall Street closed out a miserable September on Friday with the S&P 500′s worst monthly skid since March 2020, when the pandemic crashed global markets. The benchmark S&P 500 index ended the month with a 9.3% loss and posted its third straight losing quarter. It’s now at its lowest level since November 2020 and is down by more than a quarter since the start of the year.
Consumer sentiment rose in September to a final reading of 58.6 amid falling gas prices, though Americans remain broadly pessimistic about the economic outlook. The University of Michigan index advanced from 58.2 in August but fell from an initial 59.5 print earlier this month. Consumer expectations for inflation over the next year hit a one-year low of 4.7%, while expectations for inflation over the next five years declined to 2.7% from 2.8% in August, its lowest level since July 2021
U.S. consumer spending increased more than expected in August, but stubbornly high inflation is dampening demand, potentially limiting an anticipated rebound in economic growth this quarter. The report from the Commerce Department also showed underlying inflation pressures building up last month, providing cover for the Federal Reserve to remain on its aggressive monetary policy tightening path.