Consumer sentiment decreases in May

Consumer Sentiment was 59.1 in May, according to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. May’s figure was 6.1 points lower than the April reading and is 23.8 points below the May 2021 index. The Current Economic Conditions Index fell 5.8 points from the previous month to 63.6, and is 25.8 points below the April 2021 index. The Consumer Expectations Index decreased 6.2 points to 56.3, and is 22.5 points lower from a year ago.

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” said Joanne Hsu, Director of UM Surveys of Consumers.

Read the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers release.