It’s The Economy That Matters: Consumer Optimism Fuels Resilience

Several key economic indicators come out every week to help provide insight into the overall health of the U.S. economy. Policymakers and advisors closely monitor these indicators to understand the direction of interest rates, as the data can significantly impact business decisions and financial markets. In the week ending on June 29th, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) rose 0.37 % while the Invesco S&P 500® Equal Weight ETF (RSP)was up 1.58%.

In this article, we take a deeper look at some of the most important economic releases from the past week: personal consumption expenditures (PCE), gross domestic product (GDP), and consumer confidence and sentiment. By examining these data points, we gain valuable insights into consumer perceptions of the economy, which in turn inform consumer spending patterns and contribute to the country’s overall economic growth.

Consumer Confidence

Consumer optimism jumped to its highest level since the beginning of 2022. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® rose to 109.7 in June from an upwardly revised 102.5 in May. The rise in confidence marks the first monthly increase in the past three months. The index is a monthly survey measuring consumer attitudes about current and future economic conditions. Consumers showed increased confidence levels in the present situation, largely due to positive feelings regarding the labor market. Consumer expectations on future economic conditions also rose last month but remained at a level the Conference Board associates with a recession beginning within the next year. The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY) is tied to consumer confidence.

Consumer Optimism Fuels Resilience

Michigan Consumer Sentiment

Consumer sentiment showed signs of improvement this month, although it remains historically low and at recessionary levels. According to the June final report of the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, the index recorded a reading of 64.4, marking an 8.8% increase from May’s final reading and surpassing the forecasted value of 63.9. This is the largest monthly increase the index has seen in almost a year and puts the index at its highest reading in the last four months.

The index is a monthly survey measuring consumers’ opinions with regard to the economy, personal finances, business conditions, and buying conditions. The recent upturn in consumer sentiment can be attributed to a couple of factors. Firstly, the resolution of the debt ceiling crisis earlier this month played a crucial role in boosting consumer confidence. Additionally, a more optimistic outlook toward easing inflation has also contributed to improved attitudes among consumers. Given that consumer spending accounts for approximately 70% of the economy, consumer attitudes are closely monitored, as their confidence levels directly impact their spending behavior and, consequently, trigger economic growth. The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY) is tied to consumer sentiment.

Consumer Optimism Fuels Resilience