Consumer Sentiment Remains Strong in October

Consumer Sentiment decreased 1.5 points in October to 98.6, according to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. October’s figure is 2.1 percent below the October 2017 index. The Current Economic Conditions Index declined 1.8 points to 113.1. The reading was 2.9 percent below the October 2017 index. The Consumer Expectations Index fell 1.3 points to 89.3 and was 1.3 percent lower than a year ago.

“The Consumer Sentiment Index has been higher thus far in 2018 (98.5) than in any prior year since 2000, which was the last year of the longest expansion since the mid-1800s. Importantly, stock price declines, rising inflation and interest rates, and the negative mid-term election campaigns, have not acted to undermine consumer confidence,” said Richard Curtin, chief economist of UM Surveys of Consumers.

“Needless to say, consumers are not immune to these negative factors. The data only indicate that the tipping point toward escalating pessimism has not been reached. This resilience was primarily due to the prevailing belief that the economy would produce robust job growth during the year ahead, even if overall wage growth remained dismal. Consumers now place a higher value on job security compared with wage growth due to job losses in the Great Recession as well as the aging of the labor force.”

Read the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers release.