Consumer Sentiment Slides Post Election

Chris Lange

The final University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for November fell month over month from an October reading of 98.6 to 97.5. The consensus estimate from Bloomberg was calling for the final reading to be 98.3.

The November index is 1.1% lower month over month and 1.0% lower compared with November 2017.

The November index and subindex readings came in lower in every case when compared both to October and to November 2017.

Month over month, the consumer expectations subindex fell 1.3% to 88.1 and the current conditions subindex fell from 113.1 to 112.3.

Year over year, the current conditions subindex is down 1.1% and the consumer expectations subindex is down 0.9%.

According to Richard Curtin, Chief Economist:

Consumer sentiment has remained largely unchanged at very favorable levels during 2018, with the November reading nearly at the center of the eleven month range from 95.7 to 101.4. Although the data recorded a decline of 2.8 Index points following the election, the drop was related more to income than political party: among those with incomes in the bottom third, the Sentiment Index rose by 10.4 points and fell by 6.6 points among those in the top third of the income distribution. In contrast, the Sentiment Index remained unchanged among Democrats and Republicans prior to and following the election.