Consumer Sentiment was 68.8 in January according to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. January’s figure was 2.5 points lower than the December reading and is 12.9 points below the January 2020 index. The Current Economic Conditions Index fell 1.3 points from the previous month to 73.2 and is 15.6 points below the January 2020 index. The Consumer Expectations Index decreased 3.5 points to 65.9 and is 10.9 points lower from a year ago.
“While the Delta and Omicron variants certainly contributed to this downward shift, the decline was also due to an escalating inflation rate. Three-quarters of consumers in early January ranked inflation, compared with unemployment, as the more serious problem facing the nation. Given that inflation’s impact is regressive, the Sentiment Index fell by 9.4% among households with total incomes below $100,000 in early January but rose by 5.7% among households with incomes over that amount. The same split was observed for prospects for the national economy, with lower income households more negative, and higher income households holding a more positive outlook. Even among the more optimistic, they are still more likely to anticipate bad rather than good economic times in the year ahead.” said Richard Curtin, chief economist of UM Surveys of Consumers.
Read the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers release.