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The University of Michigan’s quarterly American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), released this morning, suggests that customer satisfaction is down for the first time since early 2005, sliding 0.1 percent to 75.2 on its 100-point scale. However, the index remains one percent higher than it was a year ago.

The suggestion is that the third-quarter slide probably does not bode well for consumer spending in the holiday season. “The dip in ACSI is largely attributable to higher food prices, and despite employment growth and holiday discount pricing, consumer spending is unlikely to match last year’s fourth quarter growth,” said Professor Claes Fornell, head of ACSI at the University of Michigan.

KC's View:
It would seem likely that we’re not in for a robust and prosperous holiday season, which means that in less than a month we’re all going to see a ton of price cuts and promotions as retailers look to discount themselves out of the doldrums. And it could be suggested that anyone who feels optimistic about the economy may not be paying attention.