Residents shop at a Walmart store August 29, 2019 in Orlando, Florida.
Gerardo Mora | Getty Images
The University of Michigan's final print on its Consumer Sentiment Index came in at 89.8 for August, falling below the preliminary treatment from two weeks ago.
The index stood at 98.4 in July, making this the largest monthly decline since December 2012. Economists polled by Refinitive expected the final consumer sentiment reading in August to reach 92.1
The fall comes after a turbulent month in the US-China trade war.
"Trump's customs policy has been subject to repeated chargebacks amid threats of higher future tariffs. Such tactics may have some merit in negotiations with China, but they work to increase uncertainty and reduce consumer spending at home," said Richard Curtin, chief economist for the survey. of Consumers, said it in a release.
President Donald Trump announced on August 1 that the United States will impose tariffs on an additional $ 300 billion of goods imported from China. The tariffs were originally intended to take effect in September, but some have been delayed until December 15 or removed.
China announced last week that it would retaliate with new tariffs for US products and resume them on cars and car components. .
The study found that consumers who mentioned tariffs unsolicited were more likely to expect higher inflation and rising unemployment. One of three consumers mentioned prices spontaneously, Curtin said.
"Although the overall sentiment level is still consistent with modest consumption gains, the data nevertheless increased the likelihood that consumers could be squeezed from the & # 39; customs cliff & # 39; in the months ahead," Curtin said.
Get the market reaction here.