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Consumer confidence after September 11

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  • C. Alan Garner
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    Abstract

    The terrorist attacks on September 11 dealt a serious blow to the U.S. economy. The damage included the tragic loss of human life, massive property destruction, and disruptions to the travel and shipping industries. But immediately after the attacks, many observers also worried about the possible harm to business and consumer confidence. Although the effects on business confidence are hard to measure, regular surveys of households make it easier to assess the effects on consumer confidence. These surveys show that consumer confidence was surprisingly resilient.> Faced with this resilience, forecasters and policymakers struggled to interpret the movements in consumer confidence. Did consumers quickly return to more normal economic behavior even though they were shocked by the terrorist attacks? Or was the resilience somehow illusory? Were measures of consumer confidence actually lower than would be expected based on prevailing economic conditions? The answers to these questions might have implications about the economic outlook or the proper settings for monetary and fiscal policy.> Garner examines the impact of the terrorist attacks on consumer confidence at the end of 2001. He finds that the terrorist attacks did not cause a clear weakening of consumer confidence after September 11. As a result, the consumer confidence indexes maintained a fairly normal relationship to other economic indicators and did not contain much new information for forecasters and policymakers. The resilience of consumer confidence may have offered some assurance, however, that the worst fears about the economic outlook would not be realized.

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    File URL: http://www.kansascityfed.org/Publicat/econrev/Pdf/2q02garn.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in its journal Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): (2002)
    Issue (Month): Q II ()
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedker:y:2002:i:qii:n:v.87no.2

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    Keywords: Consumers ; Consumer behavior ; Terrorism;

    References

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    1. Adrian W. Throop, 1992. "Consumer sentiment: its causes and effects," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 35-59.
    2. Eric M. Leeper, 1992. "Consumer attitudes: king for a day," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Jul, pages 1-15.
    3. Michael C. Lovell, 1975. "Why Was the Consumer Feeling So Sad?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 6(2), pages 473-479.
    4. Jason Bram & Sydney Ludvigson, 1998. "Does consumer confidence forecast household expenditure? a sentiment index horse race," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jun, pages 59-78.
    5. Nicholas S. Souleles, 2001. "Consumer Sentiment: Its Rationality and Usefulness in Forecasting Expenditure - Evidence from the Michigan Micro Data," NBER Working Papers 8410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Dean Croushore & Tom Stark, 1999. "Does data vintage matter for forecasting?," Working Papers 99-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
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    Cited by:
    1. Marco Malgarini & Patrizia Margani, 2005. "Psychology, consumer sentiment and household expenditures: a disaggregated analysis," ISAE Working Papers 58, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).
    2. Harumi Ito & Darin Lee, 2003. "Assessing the Impact of the September 11 Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Airline Demand," Working Papers 2003-16, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    3. Dudek, SÅ‚awomir, 2008. "Consumer Survey Data and short-term forecasting of households consumption expenditures in Poland," MPRA Paper 19818, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. James Sprigg & Mark Ehlen, 2007. "Comparative dynamics in an overlapping-generations model: the effects of quasi-rational discrete choice on finding and maintaining Nash equilibrium," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 69-96, February.

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