Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Consumer Sentiment
The University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment edged down a bit in early April, falling from an index level of 76.2 in March to 75.7. The current conditions component fell sharply: from 86 in March to 80.6 in April. However, the consumer expectations component rose 2.7 points to 72.5 in April, offsetting some of the decline in the current conditions component. Median short-run (one-year ahead) inflation expectations slipped down from 3.9 percent to 3.4 percent in April, and are 1.2 percentage points below its level a year ago. Importantly, longer-term (five-to-ten years ahead) expectations remained at 3.0 percent in April, which suggests that respondents aren’t expecting a gas price spike in March to feed into an increase in longer-run price pressure. Interestingly, the increase longer-term expectations in recent months (from around 2.7 percent in 2012:Q4 to 3.0 percent currently), appears to have been driven by the upper end of the distribution; as the 75th percentile jumped up from 4.2 percent to 4.8 percent, while the 25th percentile has remained roughly flat at 1.6 percent.