Consumer Sentiment Rose 0.2% in July

Ann Arbor, MI, August 2, 2019-Consumer sentiment rose 0.2% to 98.4 in July from June’s 98.2 rate, according to final results from the University of Michigan. 

This represents a 0.5% increase year over year. 

“Consumer sentiment remained unchanged in late July from the mid-month reading, with all component questions showing only small and offsetting changes,” says Survey of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin. “Economic confidence has been remarkably stable since the start of 2017, despite ongoing trade uncertainties. The resilience displayed has been primarily due to a renewed sense of personal financial optimism. Indeed, recent surveys have recorded the most favorable net personal financial expectations since May 2003. Positive job and income prospects, gains in net household wealth, and low inflation have bolstered optimism. At present, consumers do not anticipate a rapid acceleration in income growth rates, nor do they expect significant changes in inflation and unemployment rates. Consumers have not ignored mounting policy uncertainties as they have begun to take precautionary measures to increase savings and reduce debt. Favorable buying attitudes toward homes and vehicles have significantly receded from their cyclical peaks despite declining interest rates. A key issue is whether the recently announced tariffs on Chinese imports, covering more commonly purchased consumer items, will spark an even more cautious outlook. Aside from its direct impact on spending, the much more important issue is how much it lessens overall consumer confidence.”