UMich Sentiment Surges For 6th Straight Month Led By 'Hope'

Having rebounded on a sea of central-bank-liquidity-fueled-stock-market-enthusiasm, the reality of a global pandemic and economic reality are expected to notch American consumers' confidence down in January, but ever-resilient, preliminary February UMich Sentiment rose for the 6th straight month to its highest since March 2018...

Source: Bloomberg

"Hope" - the expectations index - increased to 92.6, the second-highest reading of the record-long U.S. economic expansion, but current conditions dipped very modestly.

These gains in consumers' economic assessments have also been accompanied by a faint stirring of two powerful sources of uncertainty. 

First, the coronavirus was mentioned by just 7% when asked to explain their economic expectations in early February.

Second, the runup to the presidential election is likely to focus on the vast changes to taxes and spending programs; in early February, only 10% of all consumers mentioned some aspect of the election as having a potential impact on their economic expectations," Richard Curtin, director of the University of Michigan consumer survey, said in a statement.

Buying conditions rose for vehicles and houses but dipped for large household durables...

Source: Bloomberg

Net gains in household income and wealth were reported more frequently than at any time since 1960, the report said. When asked about long term prospects for the economy, 51% saw uninterrupted growth, while 39% expected a downturn in the next five years.

Consumer expectations for inflation were stable, with price gains over the coming year unchanged at 2.5%. However, five-year estimates slipped to 2.3%, near a record low, from 2.5%.