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Economic Data (USA)

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Consumer Sentiment: Final Results for April 2023

The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS) - Final Results for April 2023 was released today:

Predicted: 64.0
  • Actual: 63.5

  • Change from Previous Month: +2.42% (+1.5 points)

  • Change from 12 Months Previous: -2.61% (-1.7 points)


  • Final ICS Reading for March 2023: 62.0

  • Final ICS Reading for April 2022: 65.2


From Today's Report:

"...Consumer sentiment was little changed this month, inching up less than two index points from March. Buying conditions for durables improved 11% primarily on the basis of easing perceptions of unaffordability. Despite the increasingly negative news on business conditions heard by consumers, their short and long-run economic outlook improved modestly from last month. These improvements were balanced by worsening assessments of personal finances due to higher expenses, reflecting the ongoing pain stemming from continued high prices..."


Percent Mentioning High Interest Rates or Tight Credit as Reasons for Poor Buying Conditions
CHART: Percent Mentioning High Interest Rates
or Tight Credit as Reasons
for Poor Buying Conditions

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?"



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.


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



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