University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment posted a final May reading of 59.2, down from April's 63.5; sentiment fell significantly for consumers in the West and those with middle incomes

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May 26, 2023 (press release) –

Final Results for May 2023

  May Apr May M-M Y-Y
  2023 2023 2022 Change Change
Index of Consumer Sentiment 59.2 63.5 58.4 -6.8% +1.4%
Current Economic Conditions 64.9 68.2 63.3 -4.8% +2.5%
Index of Consumer Expectations 55.4 60.5 55.2 -8.4% +0.4%

 

Read our April 28th report, Confidence in Financial Institutions.
Next data release: Friday, June 16, 2023 for Preliminary June data at 10am ET
Surveys of Consumers Director Joanne Hsu
Consumer sentiment slid 7% amid worries about the path of the economy, erasing nearly half of the gains achieved after the all-time historic low from last June. This decline mirrors the 2011 debt ceiling crisis, during which sentiment also plunged. This month, sentiment fell severely for consumers in the West and those with middle incomes. The year-ahead economic outlook plummeted 17% from last month. Long-run expectations plunged by 13% as well, indicating that consumers are concerned that any recession to come may cause lasting pain. That said, consumer views over their personal finances are little changed from April, with stable income expectations supporting consumer spending for the time being.

Year-ahead inflation expectations receded to 4.2% in May after spiking to 4.6% in April. Uncertainty, as measured by the interquartile range of these expectations has been elevated, averaging 7.8 over the last 12 months, but fell this month to 5.7, the lowest level of uncertainty in almost two years. This suggests that consumer views over short-run inflation may be stabilizing following four months of vacillation. Long-run inflation expectations inched up for the second straight month but remained within the narrow 2.9-3.1% range for 21 of the last 22 months.

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