Economic Data Roundup (12/09/2016)

12/9/16 12:00 PM

iStock_000009003675_Small.jpgThe consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan surged to 98.0 in the first half of December. That was the highest headline reading since January 2015 and significantly better than economists had anticipated. Under the hood, Americans’ views of both current and future economic conditions improved markedly this month, with the former spiking to the best level in roughly eleven years. A decade-high 40 percent of surveyed consumers said that they expect their personal financial situation to improve over the next twelve months, and reported pessimism about retirement prospects declined to pre-crisis lows. Further, December saw the 3rd-largest monthly increase in the percentage of survey respondents anticipating better business conditions over the next year, and consumers' opinion of government economic policy rose to the highest level since 2009. Almost all of the improvement this month can be attributed to Donald Trump’s election victory (most respondents in the November sentiment report were surveyed before the election), which only adds to the need for the President-elect to deliver once he is finally sworn into office. Richard Curtin, director of the Michigan Survey of Consumers, added that “President-elect Trump must provide early evidence of positive economic growth as well as act to keep positive consumer expectations aligned with performance. Either too slow growth or too high expectations represent barriers to maintaining high levels of consumer confidence. Until specific policies are proposed, there is no reason to alter the 2017 forecast of 2.5% for real consumption.”




Sources: Econoday, Bloomberg, Twitter, ZH, University of Michigan, FRBSL

Post author: Charles Couch