econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 29 April 2016

Final April 2016 Michigan Consumer Sentiment Continues Slow Decline

by Doug Short, Advisor Perspectives/dshort.com

The University of Michigan Final Consumer Sentiment for April came in at 89.0, a 2.0 point decrease from the 91.0 March Final reading. Investing.com had forecast 90.0.

Surveys of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin makes the following comments:

Consumer sentiment continued its slow decline in late April due to weakening expectations for future growth, although their views of current economic conditions remained positive. All of the April decline was in the Expectations component, which fell by 4.8% from one month ago and by 12.6% from a year ago and by 14.7% from its January 2015 peak. The retreat from the 2015 peaks was evident across a wide range of expectations about prospects for the national economy. The size of the decline, while troublesome, is still far short of indicating an impending recession. The decline is all the more remarkable given that consumers' assessments of current economic conditions, including their personal finance, have remained largely unchanged at very positive levels during the past year. This divergence may reflect the strength of the consumer relative to the business sectors, and may have been exacerbated by growing uncertainty about the economic policies advocated by various presidential candidates. Overall, the data indicate that inflation-adjusted personal consumption expenditures will grow by 2.5% in 2016.

See the chart below for a long-term perspective on this widely watched indicator. Recessions and real GDP are included to help us evaluate the correlation between the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index and the broader economy.

Michigan Consumer Sentiment

To put today's report into the larger historical context since its beginning in 1978, consumer sentiment is 4.3 percent above the average reading (arithmetic mean) and 5.5 percent above the geometric mean. The current index level is at the 51st percentile of the 460 monthly data points in this series.

The Michigan average since its inception is 85.4. During non-recessionary years the average is 87.6. The average during the five recessions is 69.3. So the latest sentiment number puts us 19.7 points above the average recession mindset and 1.4 points above the non-recession average.

Note that this indicator is somewhat volatile, with a 3.0 point absolute average monthly change. The latest data point was a 2.0 point change from the previous month. For a visual sense of the volatility, here is a chart with the monthly data and a three-month moving average.

3-Month Moving Average

For the sake of comparison, here is a chart of the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index (monthly update here). The Conference Board Index is the more volatile of the two, but the broad pattern and general trends have been remarkably similar to the Michigan Index.

Consumer Confidence

And finally, the prevailing mood of the Michigan survey is also similar to the mood of small business owners, as captured by the NFIB Business Optimism Index (monthly update here).

NFIB Optimism

The general trend in the Michigan Sentiment Index since the Financial Crisis lows has been one of slow improvement.The survey findings since December 2015 have seen a gradual decline with January 2015 remaining the interim peak.

Caveats on the Use of University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment

This survey is quantitatively derived from a fairly complex questionnaire (sample here) via a monthly telephone survey. According to Bloomberg:

This release is frequently released early. It can come out as early as 9:55am EST. The official release time is 10:00. Base year 1966=100. A survey of consumer attitudes concerning both the present situation as well as expectations regarding economic conditions conducted by the University of Michigan. For the preliminary release approximately three hundred consumers are surveyed while five hundred are interviewed for the final figure. The level of consumer sentiment is related to the strength of consumer spending. Please note that this report is released twice per month. The first is a preliminary figure while the second is the final (revised) figure.

This is a survey, a quantification of opinion rather than facts and data. The question - does sentiment lead or truly correlate to any economic activity? Since 1990, there seems to be a loose general correlation to real household income growth.



>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<




Permanent link to most recent post on this topic

Click here for Historical Releases Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.



You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.







Econintersect Economic Releases


search_box

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.


Take a look at what is going on inside of Econintersect.com
Main Home
Analysis Blog
A New Era of Central Banking?
Is Free Trade Harming the Economy?
News Blog
01 February 2017 FOMC Meeting Minutes: Little Seems to Have Changed Since the Previous Meeting
An Inside Look At Doomsday Bunker Homes With A Price Tag Of 2 Million
January 2017 Headline Existing Home Sales Surprisingly Good
China Moves To Put North Korea In Its Place
Trucking Data Improves In January 2017
February 2017 Chemical Activity Barometer Has Strong Gain
Infographic Of The Day: 2017's Top New Year's Resolutions
Early Headlines: Asia Stocks And Dollar Up, Oil And Gold Steady, Nat Gas Plunges, Fed's Williams Says Low Rates Will Last, Steep UK Brexit Bill, Greek Poverty, China Stocks Look Up? And More
Climate of the Southwest
Did the Romans Create both Christianity and Islam?
The Psychology Behind Trump's Awkward Handshake ... And How To Beat Him At His Own Game
Most Lawsuits Against Trump Related To Travel Ban
Average Gasoline Prices for Week Ending 20 February 2017 Statistically Unchanged
Investing Blog
The Real 401k Plan Manager 20 February 2017
Investing.com Technical Summary 21 February 2017
Opinion Blog
The Blame Game
Fascism Defined And Described By Oswald Mosley
Precious Metals Blog
Deflation And Gold: A Contrarian View
Live Markets
22Feb2017 Market Close: Wall Street Passes On New Highs Except For The DOW, Interest Rate Hike May Come Sooner Rather Than Later
Amazon Books & More






.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government





























 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2017 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved