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Consumer Sentiment: Plans to Buy Durables, But Not Cars

May 12, 2017
Bottom Line: Consumer sentiment remained at the elevated levels established after the election, ticking up to 97.7 in the preliminary May reading, just above the average of the last six months. Expectations for higher income gains and modest inflation left real income expectations at 12-year highs. Survey respondents reported plans to buy household durable goods at the fastest pace in the last decade. However, they expected to buy vehicles at the slowest pace in three years. Finally, the survey noted that home buying conditions were viewed less favorably, while selling conditions were viewed more favorably, likely reflecting the tight supply conditions we've noted in housing data.

Consumer Sentiment ROSE by 0.7 points in early May to 97.7%, compared with market expectations for in line to 97.0%. With this month's slight increase, sentiment is now 3.2% ABOVE its year ago level.

Current Conditions were UNCHANGED at 112.7%. This is 2.5% ABOVE their year ago level.

Consumer Expectations ROSE by 1.1 points to 88.1%. With this month's slight increase, expectations are 3.8% ABOVE its year ago level.