Consumer Sentiment Rose 13.1% to 78.8 in Early January

Ann Arbor, MI, January 19, 2024-Consumer sentiment rose 13.1% to 78.8 in early January, according to preliminary results from the University of Michigan Survey of Consumers. 

This represents a 21.4% increase year over year.

“Consumer sentiment soared 13% in January to reach its highest level since July 2021, showing that the sharp increase in December was no fluke,” says Survey of Consumers director Joanne Hsu. “Consumer views were supported by confidence that inflation has turned a corner and strengthening income expectations. Over the last two months, sentiment has climbed a cumulative 29%, the largest two-month increase since 1991 as a recession ended. For the second straight month, all five index components rose, with a 27% surge in the short-run outlook for business conditions and a 14% gain in current personal finances. Like December, there was a broad consensus of improved sentiment across age, income, education, and geography. Democrats and Republicans alike showed their most favorable readings since summer of 2021. Sentiment has now risen nearly 60% above the all-time low measured in June of 2022 and is likely to provide some positive momentum for the economy. Sentiment is now just 7% shy of the historical average since 1978. 

“Year-ahead inflation expectations softened to 2.9% after plunging in December. The current reading is the lowest since December 2020 and is now within the 2.3-3.0% range seen in the two years prior to the pandemic. Long-run inflation expectations edged down to 2.8% falling just below the 2.9-3.1% range seen for 26 of the last 30 months. These expectations remained slightly elevated relative to the 2.2-2.6% range seen in the two years pre-pandemic.”