U.S. consumer confidence fell to a 28-year low in May on soaring inflation expectations, while spending and price growth moderated last month, reports showed Friday.
The data heightens the dilemma facing the Federal Reserve, which has loosened monetary policy to cushion the economy while betting the slowdown would put the squeeze on inflation.
"I think both the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury Dept share in the responsibility for the dilemma," writes Fast Money viewer Harry L. from Mississippi. "There is no way you can have the M3 growth we’ve had in recent years and not have higher inflation."
"Consumers are running scared. These price data are bad for consumers and businesses," added David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's Ratings Services in New York. "We are not going to see the economy getting better any time soon. We are still in the early stages of the recession."
But not everyone shares the gloomy outlook. Patrick M from Illinois tells us, "I've been a UPS driver for 20 years. I'm here to tell ya people are spending money they just aren't going to the malls."
And that leads to our Fast Money Reader Poll. Do you think we're still in the early stages of recession?
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