Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Consumer Sentiment
The University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment improved in early February, rising from an index level of 73.8 in January to 76.3, but is still below its recent high of 82.7 in November 2012. Gains were seen in both the current conditions and expectations components in February. Respondents’ judgment of current economic conditions improved 3.0 points to 88.0 in February, consistent with its level in 2012:Q3, but a little below its fourth-quarter level. The consumer expectations index rose 2.1 points to 68.7, though that is still roughly ten points below its recent cyclical high last October. Interestingly, the release noted that there was a sharp rebound in sentiment among households with incomes below $75,000, despite an all-time record number of consumers that expect their inflation-adjusted incomes to fall in the year ahead. The median respondent’s expectation for inflation over the year ahead remained at 3.3 percent in February. However, the longer-term (five- to ten-year) ahead median expectation edged up 0.1 percentage points to 3.0 percent during the month.