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Consumer Sentiment Index Hits Six-Month Low

Consumer Sentiment Index Hits Six-Month Low

May 10, 2024

Consumer Sentiment Index Hits Six-Month Low

The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell to its lowest level in six months, reflecting Americans' growing concerns over inflation, interest rates, and the labor market. The preliminary reading for May registered at 67.4, a substantial 14% decrease from the previous year and a notable drop from April's 77.2, contrary to expectations for only a slight decline.

Joanne Hsu, the survey director, remarked on the broad-based nature of the downturn, stating, “This month’s trend in sentiment is characterized by a broad consensus across consumers, with decreases across age, income, and education groups.” She further explained the shift in consumer attitude, “While consumers had been reserving judgment for the past few months, they now perceive negative developments on a number of dimensions. They expressed worries that inflation, unemployment and interest rates may all be moving in an unfavorable direction in the year ahead.”

Consumer sentiment has fluctuated in response to higher-than-expected inflation rates and delayed expectations for interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve. Inflation expectations have deteriorated, with consumers now forecasting a 3.5% increase in prices, up from the 3.2% anticipated a month ago.

U.S. News Article


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