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Consumer Sentiment: Continued Positive Assesments

March 17, 2017
Bottom Line: Consumers' assessments of current economic conditions hit the highest level since 2000, mostly due to improved personal finances and (notably) not linked to respondents' politics. Consumers' expectations, though, continue to be heavily influenced by their partisan politics with Democrats suggesting a deep recession imminently and Republicans suggesting substantial economic growth, according to the survey's economist. Overall, the current conditions component of the survey suggests consumers should be spending at a faster rate in coming months, while the expectations component, with its large partisan split, suggests the potential for substantial volatility.

Consumer Sentiment ROSE by 1.3 points in early March to 97.6%, compared with market expectations for an increase to 97.0%. With this month's slight increase, sentiment is now 7.3% ABOVE its year ago level.

Current Conditions ROSE by 3.0 points to 114.5%. This is 8.4% ABOVE their year ago level.

Consumer Expectations ROSE by 0.2 points to 86.7%. With this month's slight increase, expectations are 6.4% ABOVE its year ago level.