Following the Federal Reserve’s recent increase in interest rates, consumer confidence has plummeted, manufacturing imports have decreased, and housing markets are cooling. The rate hike is the largest since the 1980s, CNBC reports.
A corresponding decline in consumer sentiment and spending has been followed more recently by a slowdown in purchases of home appliances, DIY products, and construction materials. On the flip side, demand for clothing and sporting goods remains strong, perhaps due to vacation, return-to-work, and back-to-school shopping.
Spending cutbacks by the consumer already led to a decrease in Chinese manufacturing orders by U.S. importers of 20-30%, as recently reported by CNBC, and more recent data from U.S. shippers shows the housing market slowdown is now showing up in the Asian supply chain data too.