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Consumer Sentiment: Continued Positive Assesments

March 31, 2017

Bottom Line: Consumer sentiment was revised down just slightly in late February. While consumers' expectations for income, jobs, and inflation continue to hold the level of current conditions near the highs of the last decade, the survey notes that the level of economic activity associated with a positive outlook is lower than in previous eras. A decade ago growth of 3% was below average and cause for concern, while today 2.5% is optimistic. Overall this survey suggests a modest increase in real consumer spending of about 2.7% in '17 with substantial volatility (as we've seen from the personal income and spending reports so far in the 1st Quarter).

Consumer Sentiment was REVISED DOWN by 0.7 points in late March to 96.9%, compared with market expectations for no change to 97.6%. Sentiment has deteriorated by -1.3 points over the past 3 months. With this month's slight increase, compared to February's final level of 96.3%, sentiment is 6.5% ABOVE its year ago level.

Current Conditions were REVISED DOWN by 1.3 points to 113.2%. Current conditions are now 7.2% ABOVE their year ago level.

Consumer Expectations were REVISED DOWN by 0.2 points to 86.5%. Despite this month's slight no change, compared to February's final level of 86.5%, expectations are 6.1% ABOVE their year ago level.

Article by Contingent Macro Advisors