Preliminary Results for November 2017
Nov Oct Nov M-M Y-Y
2017 2017 2016 Change Change
Index of Consumer Sentiment 97.8 100.7 93.8 -2.9% +4.3%
Current Economic Conditions 113.6 116.5 107.3 -2.5% +5.9%
Index of Consumer Expectations 87.6 90.5 85.2 -3.2% +2.8%
Next data release: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 for Final November data at 10am ET
Surveys of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin
Consumer sentiment declined slightly in early November due to widespread losses across current and expected economic conditions. The losses were quite small as the Sentiment Index remained at its second highest level since January. Overall, the Sentiment Index has remained trendless since the start of the year, varying by less that 4.0 Index-points around its 2017 average of 96.8. Consumers (and policy makers) have four key concerns: prospective trends in jobs, wages, inflation, and interest rates. An improving labor market was spontaneously mentioned by a record number of consumers in early November, and anticipated wage gains recorded their highest two-month level in a decade. These favorable trends were countered by a slight rise in year-ahead inflation expectations and a growing consensus that interest rates will increase during the year ahead. Needless to say, the preliminary November data is hardly sufficient to indicate that the persistent strength in the labor market has finally prompted higher inflation. Moreover, consumers anticipated that the size of the changes would be rather small, leaving economic conditions largely unchanged at favorable levels. While the expected Fed rate hikes seem to be the right preemptive action, the critical issue is whether income gains will be sufficient to outweigh rate hikes in home and vehicle purchase decisions. Overall, the data are consistent with a 2.7% rise in personal consumption spending in 2018.