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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Friday, November 11, 2022

Consumer Sentiment: Preliminary Results for November 2022

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

Predicted: 60.0
  • Actual: 54.7
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  • Change from Previous Month: -8.68% (-5.2 points)

  • Change from 12 Months Previous: -18.84% (-12.7 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 about 9% below October, erasing about half of the gains that had been recorded since the historic low in June. All components of the index declined from last month, but buying conditions for durables, which had markedly improved last month, decreased most sharply in November, falling back 21% on the basis of high interest rates as well as continued high prices. Overall, declines in sentiment were observed across the distribution of age, education, income, geography, and political affiliation, showing that the recent improvements in sentiment were tentative. Instability in sentiment is likely to continue, a reflection of uncertainty over both global factors and the eventual outcomes of the election.

Inflation expectations are little changed. The median expected year-ahead inflation rate was 5.1%, up 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..."

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CHART: High Interest Rate Reasons for Poor Buying Conditions and Interest Rates

CHART: High Interest Rate Reasons for
Poor Buying Conditions and Interest Rates
 
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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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