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Data: University of Michigan; Chart: Axios Visuals

Shoppers are outraged by how expensive some stuff is getting.

Why it matters: Consumer sentiment is important because it’s generally correlated with spending. Complaints about prices today and concerns about inflation down the road have caused the recovery in sentiment to stall.

Yes, but: Consumers are spending nonetheless. Retail sales unexpectedly grew strongly in June during a month when consumer prices rose by more than expected.

By the numbers: The University of Michigan’s widely followed consumer sentiment index unexpectedly tumbled to 80.8 in July from 85.5 in June.

  • Consumers have increasingly said they are worried about what inflation may look like one year and five years from now.
  • The report also found that consumers have never been more frustrated by the rising prices of homes, cars and durable goods like home appliances.
  • For these categories, a net 33% of consumers said it was a bad time to buy because prices were too high. This is an all-time record according to data going back to 1960.
  • The report found 71% of consumers thought it was a bad time to buy a home because prices were too high, while just 6% thought it was a good time to buy because prices were low.

What they’re saying: “Consumers' complaints about rising prices on homes, vehicles, and household durables has reached an all-time record,” Richard Curtin, the survey's chief economist, said in a statement.

  • “Purchase rates, however, have benefitted from record increases in accumulated savings and reserve funds.”
  • Indeed, some estimate that consumers accumulated $2.4 trillion in excess savings since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that the consumers' pump is primed.

What to watch: Recent housing market data suggest sales volumes are about to turn up again, even as home prices continue to surge.

The bottom line: While higher prices will continue to have consumers incensed, hard spending data like retail sales confirm that they have the ability and willingness to make purchases anyway.

Go deeper

Luxury fashion marketplace Tradesy raises $67 million

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tradesy, an online marketplace for secondhand high-end fashion goods, raised $67 million in Series D funding led by Foris Ventures, John Doerr's family office.

Why it matters: With climate change (and ESG more broadly) solidifying itself as a mainstream concern, companies like Tradesy that help consumers cut down on their consumption and waste are seeing exploding interest.

5 mins ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and up

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelming voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

29 mins ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."