Friday, December 11, 2015

Preliminary December Consumer Sentiment increases to 91.8

by Bill McBride on 12/11/2015 10:00:00 AM

The preliminary University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for December was at 91.8, up from 91.3 in November.

"While the preliminary December reading was largely unchanged from last month, consumers evaluated current economic conditions more favorably and expected future prospects less favorably. In a repeat of last month's findings, all of the early December gain was recorded among households with incomes in the bottom two-thirds (+2.7%), while the Sentiment Index among consumers with incomes in the top third declined (-4.4%). Importantly, the survey recorded persistent strength in personal finances and buying plans, while the largest loss was in how consumers judged prospects for the national economy during the year ahead. Overall, the Sentiment Index has averaged 92.9 during 2015, the highest since 2004, with only 10 higher yearly averages in the past half century. The data continue to indicate that real consumer expenditures will grow by 2.8% in 2016 over 2015. "
emphasis added
This was slightly below the consensus forecast of 92.0.

Consumer Sentiment
Click on graph for larger image.