Preliminary Results for December 2017
|Index of Consumer Sentiment||96.8||98.5||98.2||-1.7%||-1.4%|
|Current Economic Conditions||115.9||113.5||111.9||+2.1%||+3.6%|
|Index of Consumer Expectations||84.6||88.9||89.5||-4.8%||-5.5%|
Next data release: Friday, December 22, 2017 for Final December data at 10am ET
Surveys of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin
Consumer sentiment has remained quite favorable although it continued to slowly recede in early December from its October cyclical peak. Most of the recent decline was concentrated in the long-term prospects for the economy, while consumers thought current economic conditions have continued to improve. Importantly, the largest decline in long-term economic prospects was recorded among Democrats, which reflected their concerns about the impact of the proposed changes in taxes. Perhaps the most important changes in early December were higher income expectations as well as a higher expected inflation rate in 2018. Income gains have been slowly improving during the past year, and the data indicate that trend has continued. In contrast, the rise in inflation expectations in early December was a surprise, and confidence in this finding must await confirmation in the months ahead before any inferences are drawn. Buying plans for durables have improved in early December, largely due to attractive pricing, in contrast to the rise in the expected inflation rate. Overall, the data signal an expected gain of 2.7% in real consumption expenditures in 2018.