Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
Preliminary numbers show that the University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment remained unchanged at 81.2 in early February from January’s reading. The current economic conditions index dropped to 94.0 from 96.8. Conditions of consumer’s personal finance were viewed less favorably, which was due in part to higher prices and weaker income growth. The index of consumer expectations increased in February to 73.0 from 71.2. Consumers are somewhat more optimistic about the long-term prospects for the national economy. The survey noted that news reaching consumers of recent economic development grew more negative. Mentions of the scarcity of jobs and negative references to the government’s economic policies both rose this month. Finally, buying attitudes toward household durables decreased to 146 from 147 in February’s preliminary results.
As for inflation expectations in early February, consumers expect a year-ahead inflation rate of 3.3 percent and a longer-term (five- to ten-year) rate of 2.9 percent.