US Consumer Sentiment Unrevised in July

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment for the US was confirmed at 98.4 in July 2019, slightly above the previous month's final 98.2, as the consumer expectations sub-index came in stronger than initially thought while current conditions were weaker than previously estimated.

The consumer expectations sub-index stood at 90.5, above the preliminary reading of 90.1 and compared to June's 89.3. Meanwhile, the gauge for current economic conditions came in at 110.7, below the flash estimate of 111.1 and compared to the previous month's final figure of 111.9.

Inflation expectations for the year ahead was confirmed at 2.6 percent in July (vs June's 2.7 percent); and the 5-year outlook came in at 2.5 percent (vs preliminary 2.6 percent and June's 2.3 percent).

"Consumer sentiment remained unchanged in late July from the mid-month reading, with all component questions showing only small and offsetting changes. Economic confidence has been remarkably stable since the start of 2017, despite ongoing trade uncertainties. The resilience displayed has been primarily due to a renewed sense of personal financial optimism. Indeed, recent surveys have recorded the most favorable net personal financial expectations since May 2003 (see the chart). Positive job and income prospects, gains in net household wealth, and low inflation have bolstered optimism. At present, consumers do not anticipate a rapid acceleration in income growth rates, nor do they expect significant changes in inflation and unemployment rates. Consumers have not ignored mounting policy uncertainties as they have begun to take precautionary measures to increase savings and reduce debt. Favorable buying attitudes toward homes and vehicles have significantly receded from their cyclical peaks despite declining interest rates. A key issue is whether the recently announced tariffs on Chinese imports, covering more commonly purchased consumer items, will spark an even more cautious outlook. Aside from its direct impact on spending, the much more important issue is how much it lessens overall consumer confidence.", Surveys of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin, said.

US Consumer Sentiment Unrevised in July

University of Michigan | Joana Ferreira |
8/2/2019 2:09:32 PM