Consumer Sentiment Improves in Late June


The preliminary June reading on the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading came in at 82.7. Today's final June reading rose to 84.1, above a consensus estimate of 83, but slightly below a May index reading of 84.5. The May reading represents a six-year high for the index.

The jump is due primarily to an increase in the survey's measure of expectations, which rose from 75.8 in May to 77.8 in June. The index reading on current economic conditions fell from 98 in May to 93.8 in June. But the end-of-June reading was better than the mid-month reading of 92.1.

Households with higher income are more optimistic about their own wealth and income than are lower-income households. Optimism among families in the top third of the income distribution has risen to a level last seen six years ago.

The main takeaway from today's report is that consumers believe the U.S. economy has now developed enough upward movement to be essentially irreversible. The pace of growth may be slow, but it is moving steadily higher. Another way of putting it may be, "been down so long it looks like up to me."

Filed under: Economy