Economy

US Consumer Sentiment Pulls Back More Than Expected In November

USA consumer sentiment tumbled in early November, though the index remained at the second-highest level of the year so far.

"While the majority judged current conditions in the economy favorably and consumers anticipated continued growth on balance, consumers judged the outlook less satisfactory, and were equally divided about whether the expansion would last another five years", Richard Curtin, director of the University of MI consumer survey, said in a statement. The survey conducted by the University of MI has soared since President Donald J. Trump took office, hitting the highest level in 13 years in October, while the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index hit the highest level in almost 17 years.

Richard Curtin, the survey's chief economist, described the November data as "slightly" weaker and emphasised that the headline index had been "trendless" year-to-date, holding to a four point range above and below its average level thus far in 2017. "The losses were quite small as the Sentiment Index remained at its second highest level since January".

On the inflation front, one-year inflation expectations climbed to 2.6 percent in November from 2.4 percent in October, while five-year inflation expectations were unchanged at 2.5 percent.

Contrary to some analysts, consumers were found to be increasingly convinced that interest rates will rise during the year ahead, Curtin said.

While consumer sentiment fell almost 3 percent in November, it remains above the 2017 average of 96.8.

The index measures 500 consumers' attitudes on future economic prospects, in areas such as personal finances, inflation, unemployment, government policies and interest rates. An improving labor market was spontaneously mentioned by a record number of consumers in early November, and anticipated wage gains recorded their highest two-month level in a decade.



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