University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment posts preliminary May level of 59.1, down from April's 65.2; consumers' assessment of financial situation relative to year ago at lowest level since 2013, 36% attributed negative assessment to inflation

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May 13, 2022 (press release) –

Preliminary Results for May 2022

                                                        May     Apr     May      M-M       Y-Y
                                                       2022   2022   2021   Change  Change
Index of Consumer Sentiment        59.1    65.2    82.9    -9.4%    -28.7%
Current Economic Conditions         63.6    69.4    89.4    -8.4%    -28.9%
Index of Consumer Expectations    56.3    62.5    78.8    -9.9%    -28.6%

Next data release: Friday, May 27, 2022 for Final May data at 10am ET

Surveys of Consumers Marks Leadership Change

Surveys of Consumers Director Joanne Hsu
Consumer sentiment declined by 9.4% from April, reversing gains realized that month. These declines were broad based--for current economic conditions as well as consumer expectations, and visible across income, age, education, geography, and political affiliation--continuing the general downward trend in sentiment over the past year. Consumers' assessment of their current financial situation relative to a year ago is at its lowest reading since 2013, with 36% of consumers attributing their negative assessment to inflation. Buying conditions for durables reached its lowest reading since the question began appearing on the monthly surveys in 1978, again primarily due to high prices.
The median expected year-ahead inflation rate was 5.4%, little changed over the last three months, and up from 4.6% in May 2021. The mean was considerably higher at 7.4%, reflecting substantial variation in price changes across types of goods and services, and in household spending patterns. At the same time, long term inflation expectations remain well-anchored with a median of 3.0%, settling within the 2.9 to 3.1% range seen over the last 10 months.

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