2016 was supposed to be the year the economy was to take off. So much so the Fed jumped in a spotted us a 0.25% rate increase in late December in anticipation of a real economic barn burner. But so far, that hasn’t been the case at all. In real estate investingfact, some are now seeing a zero chance of any rate increase for the remainder of the year. This is eerily similar to last year at this time when the Fed was waiting to implement its first rate increase in nearly a decade when the economy began to falter in Q2. Are we seeing the same pattern emerge?

Consumer spending is the primary driver of our economy and it doesn’t appear we’re all that fired up about spending money this year. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report for April was released today and it appears we’re still not all that excited about spending our hard earned money. According to the report, consumer sentiment for April measured at 89.7, the lowest level since September of last year. For March, the revised number finished out at 91. The highest since the recession registered at 98.1, this number from January of 2015.*

This marks the fourth straight month of declining consumer sentiment which doesn’t bode very well for consumer spending nor inflation, both of which the Fed would like to see begin gaining some traction but if consumers aren’t feeling all that good about the prospects for a healthy economy such sentiment could very likely affect a host of other numbers. If consumers aren’t feeling all that rosy we can’t expect the Fed to fly in the face of that sentiment and begin to increase interest rates as the Fed Funds rate stays right where it is at least until the first of 2017. It almost looks like 2015 all over again.

*”Consumer Sentiment Fell for Fourth Straight Month” foxbusiness.com April 15, 2015