University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment posts preliminary April level of 65.7, up from March's 59.4; strong labor market bolstered wage expectations among consumers under age 45 to 5.3%, the largest expected gain in over three decades

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April 14, 2022 (press release) –

Preliminary Results for April 2022

                                                        Apr     Mar     Apr       M-M          Y-Y
                                                       2022   2022   2021   Change    Change
Index of Consumer Sentiment        65.7    59.4    88.3    +10.6%    -25.6%
Current Economic Conditions         68.1    67.2    97.2    +1.3%      -29.9%
Index of Consumer Expectations    64.1    54.3    82.7    +18.0%    -22.5%

Next data release: Friday, April 29, 2022 for Final April data at 10am ET

Read our April 7th report: Inflationary Psychology

Read Dr. Curtin's latest paper, Nonconscious cognitive reasoning: A neglected ability shaping economic behavior.
Surveys of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin
Consumer Sentiment jumped by a surprising 10.6% in early April, although it remained below January's reading and lower than in any prior month in the past decade. Nearly the entire gain was in the Expectations Index, which posted a monthly gain of 18.0%, including a leap of 29.4% in the year-ahead outlook for the economy and a 17.2% jump in personal financial expectations. A strong labor market bolstered wage expectations among consumers under age 45 to 5.3%-the largest expected gain in more than three decades, since April 1990. Consumers still anticipate that the national unemployment rate will inch downward, acting to improve consumers' outlook for the national economy. Perhaps the most surprising change was that consumers anticipated a year-ahead increase in gas prices of just 0.4 cents in April, completely reversing March's surge to 49.6 cents. Retail gas prices have fallen since the March peak, and that fact was immediately recognized by consumers. The shift in gas price expectations may be partly due to Biden's announced release of strategic oil reserves and the relaxing of some seasonal EPA rules. Nonetheless, the April survey offers only tentative evidence of small gains in sentiment, which is still too close to recession lows to be reassuring. There are still significant sources of economic uncertainty that could easily reverse the April gains, including the impact on the domestic economy from Putin's war, and the potential impact of new covid variants.

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Dan Rivard
Dan Rivard
- VP Market Development -

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