According to the latest Survey of Consumers produced by the University of Michigan, consumer sentiment for early February dropped by nearly three whole points to 76.2, the lowest reading since August of last year and down more than 20 points from February of 2020 – which was just before the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S.  Consumer sentiment also declined in January to 79, a drop of 1.7 points from December. The pandemic-era readings have averaged 77.8 (March – December) well below 2019 levels. And finally, new data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, consumer spending dropped by 0.2 percent in the month of December, the second consecutive month of decline. However, for the first time since last September, household income rose – indicating consumers will have more money to spend as the pandemic recedes and business restrictions are fully lifted.