Consumer Sentiment Surges to Post-Recession High


The Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report for May is out. It offers a revised number from the preliminary report two weeks ago, and revisions rarely move the market as much as preliminary reports. The good news is that the revision actually is higher to 84.5, versus a prior reading of 83.7.

The Bloomberg consensus estimate was 83.7, although it is very normal for economists to leave their estimate for a revision at the same level as the previous report. Bloomberg's range was 82.0 to 84.5.

What the stock bulls may like here is that this is a post-recession high. Current conditions ticked up to 98.0 from 97.5, and the expectations index ticked up to 75.8 from 74.8.

Today's reading also coincides with a much higher-than-expected reading of the true consumer confidence released by the Conference Board in recent days. That also hit a post-recession high and caught all the economists off guard because the report was so strong.

It seems that a better housing market and a slightly improving labor market may be adding to the fire here. What is interesting is that stocks had climbed back up to positive after being negative in the early hours before the open today, but index levels have slipped and the S&P 500 is down about five points and the DJIA is down about 32 points.

As a reminder, the "sentiment" reading is a survey of only 500 households each month.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Economy