Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
Preliminary numbers show that The University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment rose to 83.7 in early May, from 76.4 in April. According to the release, the early May rebound was primarily due to a surge in optimism among upper-income households. Among households with incomes in the top third of the distribution, the Sentiment Index jumped 20.6 index points to the highest level since July 2007, compared with a gain of 2.3 index points among the bottom two-thirds. Whereas upper-income households anticipated net declines in unemployment during the year ahead, households in the bottom two-thirds of the income distribution anticipated continued net increases. Consumers reported a more favorable assessment of their personal financial situations in early May than at any time since 2007, with the largest gains reported by households in the upper third of the income distribution. Finally, buying attitudes toward household durables improved to the highest levels since mid-2007, and vehicle buying attitudes were at the highest level since mid-2005.
As for inflation expectations in early May, consumers expected a year-ahead inflation rate of 3.1 percent and a longer-term (five- to ten-year) rate of 2.8 percent.