Preliminary Results for September 2017
Sep Aug Sep M-M Y-Y
2017 2017 2016 Change Change
Index of Consumer Sentiment 95.3 96.8 91.2 -1.5% +4.5%
Current Economic Conditions 113.9 110.9 104.2 +2.7% +9.3%
Index of Consumer Expectations 83.4 87.7 82.7 -4.9% +0.8%
Next data release: Friday, September 29, 2017 for Final September data at 10am ET
Surveys of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin
Consumer confidence edged downward in early September due to concerns over the outlook for the national economy. Consumers' assessments of current economic conditions improved, however, with the Current Conditions Index reaching the highest level since November of 2000. The two hurricanes had a greater impact on expected economic conditions. Across all interviews in early September, 9% spontaneously mentioned concerns that Harvey, Irma, or both, would have a negative impact on the overall economy. Among those who mentioned the hurricanes, the Sentiment Index was 80.2, while among those who did not spontaneously mention either hurricane, the Sentiment Index remained unchanged from last month at 96.8. Given the widespread devastation in Texas and Florida, it is not surprising to find these very negative initial reactions, nor would it be surprising if these negative assessments last longer than following most past hurricanes. While consumers anticipated slight increases in gas prices and a slightly higher overall inflation rate, those concerns were neutralized by the best assessments of their financial situation in more than a decade. Renewed gains in incomes as well as rising home and equity values have acted to counterbalance the negative impacts from the hurricanes. Given the current resilience of consumers, recent events are unlikely to derail confidence.