Consumer Sentiment Slipped 0.2% in Early January, But Up YOY

Ann Arbor, MI, January 20, 2020-Consumer sentiment fell 0.2% to 99.1 in early January, according to preliminary results from the University of Michigan Survey of Consumers.

This represents a 8.7% increase year over year. 

“Consumer sentiment remained virtually unchanged in early January, differing by just 0.2 Index-points from December,” says Survey of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin. “This stability extended to all components, both current assessments as well as future economic prospects. Impeachment was barely mentioned--just by 1% of consumers. While those that mentioned impeachment were also somewhat less optimistic than other consumers, the small numbers had a negligible impact on the overall level in consumer sentiment. It is of some interest to note that during the Clinton impeachment, sentiment similarly rose: the Sentiment Index rose from 100.5 in the December 1998 survey when the House voted for impeachment, to 108.1 in February 1999, when the Senate voted to clear Clinton. Importantly, the economic expansion lasted another two years, with the economy peaking in March 2001, setting the record for the longest expansion since the mid-1950s. The current expansion has established a new record length largely due to consumer spending. Consumers will continue to sustain the expansion due to their favorable judgements about their current and prospective financial situation (see the chart). Of course, whether that strength will last another two years is uncertain, given that the election season has only begun and features fundamental changes in taxes and spending programs that directly affect consumers.”