Consumer Sentiment Rose in October

Consumer Sentiment increased 2.3 points in October to 95.5, according to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. October’s figure is 3.1 points below the October 2018 index. The Current Economic Conditions Index increased 4.7 points to 113.2. The reading was 0.1 point above the October 2018 index. The Consumer Expectations Index rose 0.8 point to 84.2 and was 5.1 points lower than a year ago.

“The overall level of consumer confidence has remained quite favorable and largely unchanged during the past few years. The October level was nearly identical to the 2019 average (95.6) and only a few Index-points below the average since the start of 2017 (97.0). The focus of consumers has been on income and job growth, while largely ignoring other news,” said Richard Curtin, chief economist of UM Surveys of Consumers.

“The most spontaneous references were to the negative impact of tariffs, which fell to 27% in October from last month’s 36%; the impeachment inquiry totaled just 2% in October, less than the 5% who mentioned a negative impact from the GM strike. To be sure, the multiple sources of uncertainty will keep consumers focused on potential threats to their prevailing optimism, with the most critical being threats that could significantly diminish their job and income prospects.”

Read the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers release.