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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Monday, November 28, 2022

Consumer Sentiment: Final Results for November 2022

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

Predicted: 57.0
  • Actual: 56.8
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  • Change from Previous Month: -5.18% (-3.1 points)

  • Change from 12 Months Previous: -15.73% (-10.6 points)

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  • Final ICS Reading for October 2022: 59.9

  • Final ICS Reading for November 2021: 67.4

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From Today's Report:

"...Consumer sentiment fell 5% below October, offsetting about one-third of the gains posted since the historic low in June. Along with the ongoing impact of inflation, consumer attitudes have also been weighed down by rising borrowing costs, declining asset values, and weakening labor market expectations. Buying conditions for durables, which had markedly improved last month, decreased most sharply in November, falling back 19% to its September level on the basis of high interest rates and continued high prices Long-term business conditions declined a more modest 6%, while short-term business conditions and personal finances were essentially unchanged.

Inflation expectations were also little changed from October. The median expected year-ahead inflation rate was 4.9%, down slightly from 5.0% last month. Long run inflation expectations, currently at 3.0%, have remained in the narrow (albeit elevated) 2.9-3.1% range for 15 of the last 16 months. Uncertainty over these expectations remained at an elevated level, indicating that the general stability of these expectations may not necessarily endure..."
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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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