Michigan Consumer Sentiment Soars in December
Consumer sentiment soared in December, erasing all declines from the past four months, according to the preliminary report for the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. The index came in at 69.4, up 8.1 (13.2%) from the November final. This morning's reading was above the forecast of 62.0.
The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index is a monthly survey of consumer confidence levels in the U.S. with regards to the economy, personal finances, business conditions, and buying conditions, conducted by the University of Michigan. There are two reports released each month; a preliminary report released mid-month and a final report released at the end of the month.
Joanne Hsu, the director of surveys, made the following comments:
Consumer sentiment soared 13% in December, erasing all declines from the previous four months, primarily on the basis of improvements in the expected trajectory of inflation. Sentiment is now about 39% above the all-time low measured in June of 2022 but still well below pre-pandemic levels. All five index components rose this month, led by surges of over 24% for both the short and long-run outlook for business conditions. There was a broad consensus of improved sentiment across age, income, education, geography, and political identification. A growing share of consumers—about 14%—spontaneously mentioned the potential impact of next year’s elections. Sentiment for these consumers appears to incorporate expectations that the elections will likely yield results favorable to the economy.
Year-ahead inflation expectations plunged from 4.5% last month to 3.1% this month. The current reading is the lowest since March 2021 and sits just above the 2.3-3.0% range seen in the two years prior to the pandemic. Long-run inflation expectations fell from 3.2% last month to 2.8% this month, matching the second lowest reading seen since July 2021. Long-run inflation expectations remain elevated relative to the 2.2-2.6% range seen in the two years pre-pandemic. [More...]