Inflation dings consumer sentiment; jobs aplenty

Rampant inflation is taking its toll on the psyche of the American consumer.

New data released Friday showed consumer sentiment took a plunge in early November to its lowest reading in a decade.

Consumers are worried that with prices at their highest in 30 years - buying power is eroding - and policymakers in Washington aren't doing enough to slow inflation's heady gain.

The sentiment drop in the University of Michigan's twice-a-month survey comes as the most important shopping season of the year starts to kick in with Thanksgiving and Black Friday just weeks away.

Adding to consumer fears, warnings from major retailers and consumer product makers that there could be a shortage of items on the shelves due to a global supply chain disruption.

But some on Wall Street, like National Securities' Art Hogan, don't think this year's holiday shopping season will be a gloomy one....for a number of reasons.

"I think three things are happening with the consumer right: balance sheets are very strong. The ability for the consumer to get a job is very strong, right? There's more demand than the supply for jobs out there. Personal savings rates are historically high. They're above what we've seen on average for the last 25 years. There's not a lot of circular or credit card debt out there, so we have a consumer with a strong balance sheet motivated to buy things that you haven't been able to buy for years, right?"

And there's fresh evidence that consumers who want a better job, with higher pay shouldn't have a problem finding one.

Job openings remained above 10 million in separate data released by the Labor Department.

Workers who quit their job hit a record high of 4.4 million.

With employers desperate for workers and willing to pay up....paychecks are 5 percent fatter over the past 12 months through October.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting