U.S. Consumer Sentiment Slips in April; Inflation Expectations Rise

Reuters | April 12, 2024

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. consumer sentiment ebbed in April while inflation expectations for the next 12 months and beyond increased, a survey showed on Friday.

The University of Michigan’s preliminary reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment came in at 77.9 this month, compared to a final reading of 79.4 in March.

Since January, the sentiment index has remained within a very narrow 2.5 point range, well under the 5 points which the University of Michigan said was necessary for a statistically significant difference in readings. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a preliminary reading of 79.0.

“Overall, consumers are reserving judgment about the economy in light of the upcoming election, which, in the view of many consumers, could have a substantial impact on the trajectory of the economy,” said Surveys of Consumers Director Joanne Hsu in a statement.

The survey’s reading of one-year inflation expectations increased to 3.1% in April from 2.9% in March, rising just above the 2.3-3.0% range seen in the two years before the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey’s five-year inflation outlook rose to 3.0% from 2.8% in the prior month.


(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)


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