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Consumer Sentiment:  Solid Gains To Start February

February 16, 2018
Bottom Line: Only 6% of respondents to the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment survey noted equity market volatility when asked about recent economic news. By contrast, 35% of respondents cited favorable government policy in discussing economic news. An apparent willingness to focus on potential positives from tax changes and to look past market volatility, drove both consumers' assessments of their current situations and their expectations higher. Overall, this second strongest print since 2004 confirms the continued, steady upward trend in consumer sentiment in place since for 5 quarters now.

Consumer Sentiment was REVISED UP by 5.5 points in late February to 99.9%, compared with market expectations for a small increase to 95.5%.

Sentiment has improved by 1.4 points over the past 3 months. With this month's modest increase, compared to January's final level of 95.7%, sentiment is 3.7% ABOVE its year ago level.

Current Conditions were REVISED UP by 5.9 points to 115.1%. Current conditions are now 3.2% ABOVE their year ago level.

Consumer Expectations were REVISED UP by 5.4 points to 90.2%. With this month's modest increase, compared to January's final level of 86.3%, expectations are 4.3% ABOVE their year ago level.

1-year ahead inflation expectations were lower at 2.7%, while 5-year expectations were unchanged at 2.50%