Consumer Sentiment Looking Soft in August
The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index was released on Friday morning. Consumer sentiment for mid-August was reported at 79.2. The Bloomberg economists estimate was much higher at 82.3, and the range of estimates was 80.0 to 83.9. While this is a preliminary number that will be updated in two weeks, it was a handy disappointment and a move back under 80.8.
Mid-August expectations fell to 66.2 from the previous 71.8, recording the lowest level since the government shutdown in October. The current conditions were reported at 99.6, an increase of 2.2 points. This current conditions marked a recovery high.
The five-year inflation forecast from respondents increased at a rate of 2.8% despite the declining gas prices. The 12 month inflation forecast was projected at 3.4%.
Stocks have softened mid-morning on Friday since the initial report, but the drop may be tied to Ukraine-Russia tension headlines more than they are tied to the weaker-than-expected sentiment reading.
The University of Michigan Consumer Survey Center surveys 500 households each month for views on their own financial conditions and attitudes about the state of the economy. This report is much narrower compared to the Conference Board's report on consumer confidence, but it is also released much sooner and is considered a live reading for the current month.
Filed under: Economy