Consumer Sentiment: Coming Off Highs, Independent Voters More Optimistic

April 28, 2017
Bottom Line: Consumers' assessments of current economic conditions fell slightly over the course of April but remain at historically high levels. The University of Michigan survey noted widespread agreement among consumers on the current state of the economy. But while the partisan divide narrowed in recent months , there remains widespread disagreement on future expectations with pessimistic views from Democrats and very optimistic views from Republicans. While this partisan divide does add uncertainty about the usefulness of the current readings, the survey noted that expectations of independent voters have risen sharply -- 91.3 in April, from 85.8 in March and 73.1 before the election. Consumer Sentiment was REVISED DOWN by 1.0 points in late April to 97.0%, compared with market expectations for no change to 98.0%. Sentiment has deteriorated by -1.5 points over the past 3 months. With this month's slight increase, compared to March's final level of 96.9%, sentiment is 9.0% ABOVE its year ago level. Current Conditions were REVISED DOWN by 2.5 points to 112.7%. Current conditions are now 5.6% ABOVE their year ago level. Consumer Expectations were REVISED UP by 0.1 points to 87.0%. With this month's slight increase, compared to March's final level of 86.5%, expectations are 12.1% ABOVE their year ago level.