The Survey of Consumers, the closely-watched gauge of consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan, came in at 98.2 in December. That’s up from the month’s first reading of 98 and slightly above the median economic forecast, which was looking for the reading to remain flat at 98.
“While the surge in confidence following Trump’s surprise election ended by mid December, it nonetheless led to the highest level of the Sentiment Index since January 2004,” said Richard Curtin, the Surveys of Consumers. “Compared with the rapid gains made in late November and early December, the Sentiment Index was barely higher than at mid month and barely higher than the January 2015 peak — in both cases, just two-tenths of a point.”
However small, Mr. Curtin said the difference was enough to hit a twelve year high.
This month, the Survey of Consumers measured an all-time record number of consumers (18%) who spontaneously mentioned the expected favorable impact of President-elect Donald J. Trump’s policies on the economy. That is twice as high as the prior peak (9%) recorded in 1981 when former President Ronald Reagan took office.
“Needless to say, the overall gain in confidence was based on anticipated policy changes, with specific details as yet unknown,” Mr. Curtin added. “Such favorable expectations could help jump-start growth before the actual enactment of policy changes, and form higher performance standards that will be used to judge the Trump presidency.”
Final Consumer Sentiment Results for December 2016
|Index of Consumer Sentiment||98.2||93.8||92.6||+4.7%||+6.0%|
|Current Economic Conditions||111.9||107.3||108.1||+4.3%||+3.5%|
|Index of Consumer Expectations||89.5||85.2||82.7||+5.0%||+8.2%|