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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Friday, June 24, 2022

Consumer Sentiment: Final Results for June 2022

The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS) - Final Results for June 2022 was released today:

Predicted: 51.0
  • Actual: 50.0
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  • Change from Previous Month: -14.38% (-8.4 points)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: -41.52% (-35.5 points)

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  • Final ICS Reading for May 2022: 58.4

  • Final ICS Reading for June 2021: 85.5

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From today's report:

"...The final June reading confirmed the early-June decline in consumer sentiment, settling 0.2 Index points below the preliminary reading and 14.4% below May for the lowest reading on record. Consumers across income, age, education, geographic region, political affiliation, stockholding and homeownership status all posted large declines. About 79% of consumers expected bad times in the year ahead for business conditions, the highest since 2009. Inflation continued to be of paramount concern to consumers; 47% of consumers blamed inflation for eroding their living standards, just one point shy of the all-time high last reached during the Great Recession.

Since the preliminary reading, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 75 basis points, exceeding the 50 basis point hike that had been previously telegraphed. The final June reading of the median expected year-ahead inflation rate was 5.3%, little changed from mid-month or the preceding four months. In contrast, long run expectations receded from its mid-month reading of 3.3% and settled at 3.1%, back within the 2.9-3.1% range seen in the past 10 months. Consumers also expressed the highest level of uncertainty over long-run inflation since 1991, continuing a sharp increase that began in 2021..."

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CHART: Inflation Uncertainty As Estimated by the Range of the Middle 50% in Inflation Expectations

CHART: Inflation Uncertainty As Estimated
by the Range of the Middle 50%
in Inflation Expectations


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The ICS is derived from the following five survey questions:


  1. "We are interested in how people are getting along financially these days. Would you say that you (and your family living there) are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?"


  2. "Now looking ahead, do you think that a year from now you (and your family living there) will be better off financially, or worse off, or just about the same as now?"


  3. "Now turning to business conditions in the country as a whole, do you think that during the next twelve months we'll have good times financially, or bad times, or what?"


  4. "Looking ahead, which would you say is more likely: that in the country as a whole we'll have continuous good times during the next five years or so, or that we will have periods of widespread unemployment or depression, or what?"


  5. "About the big things people buy for their homes, such as furniture, a refrigerator, stove, television, and things like that. Generally speaking, do you think now is a good or bad time for people to buy major household items?"

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The ICS uses a 1966 baseline, i.e. for 1966, the ICS = 100. So any number that is below the 1966 baseline of 100 means that the folks who were polled recently aren't as optimistic about the U.S. economy as those polled back in 1966.

The ICS is similar to the Consumer Confidence Index in that they both measure consumer attitudes and offer valuable insight into consumer spending.

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The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

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