U.S. Consumer Sentiment Fell in Early May on Inflation Concerns -- University of Michigan
By Xavier Fontdegloria
Sentiment among U.S. consumers fell at the beginning of May,
reversing the rebound seen in April, as both the assessment of the
current state of the economy and short-term expectations
deteriorated amid decades-high inflation.
The preliminary estimate of the consumer sentiment index
published Friday by the University of Michigan decreased to 59.1 in
May from 65.2 in April, missing the 64.1 consensus forecast from
economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.
The deterioration in consumer sentiment reverses the improvement
registered in April, which came after three consecutive months of
drops as inflation has weighed on moods over the last year.
U.S. consumer sentiment remains at its lowest reading since
2011, and well below prepandemic levels.
Declines in May were broad-based and visible across income, age,
education, geography and political affiliation, continuing the
general downward trend in sentiment over the past year, said Joanne
Hsu, the survey's director.
The index measuring Americans' assessment of the current
economic conditions declined to 63.6 in May from 69.4 in April,
falling to the lowest level since 2013.
Buying conditions for durable goods reached its lowest reading
since the question began appearing on the survey in 1978, primarily
due to high prices, Ms. Hsu said.
Americans' inflation expectations were unchanged in May compared
with April. Consumers expect prices to increase 5.4% in the next
year, while they anticipate a 3% rise in the next five years.
The index measuring short-term expectations, which reflects the
balance of respondents anticipating improved business conditions in
the next six months, fell to 56.3 in May from 62.5 in April.
The survey's final reading will be published on May 27.
Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 13, 2022 10:35 ET (14:35 GMT)
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