The Survey of Consumers, a closely-watched gauge of consumer sentiment, came in higher than expected in June but is at the lowest level since the election. The survey came in at 95.1, higher than the 94.5 median forecast.
“Although consumer confidence slipped to its lowest level since Trump was elected, the overall level still remains quite favorable,” Richard Curain, Surveys of Consumers chief economist said. “The average level of the Sentiment Index during the first half of 2017 was 96.8, the best half-year average since the second half of 2000, and the partisan gap between Democrats and Republicans stood at 39 Index-points in June, nearly identical to the 38 point gap in February.”
The current conditions component of the survey rose 0.7 to 112.5 which bodes well for consumer spending in June. The expectations component fell almost 4 points to 83.9, the lowest level since before President Donald J. Trump won the election. The win sparked new record highs in consumer sentiment.
“Surprisingly, the optimism among Republicans and Independents has largely resisted declines in the past several months despite the decreased likelihood that Trump’s agenda will be passed in 2017,” Mr. Curtain added. “The most important policies to consumers are those that directly or indirectly affect their jobs, incomes, or their financial security. Fortunately, increasing uncertainty about future prospects for the economy has thus far been offset by the resurgent strength in the personal financial situation of consumers.”