U.S. consumers are wary of possible threats to future economic growth, but not worried enough yet to start retrenching and cutting back on their spending, economic data shows.
The University of Michigan’s preliminary November consumer sentiment index reading released on Friday inched up to 95.7, from the final October reading of 95.5. Economists surveyed by IFR Markets had expected a reading of 95.9 for November. On a year-over-year basis, the index is down 1.8%.
“Consumers indicated they were slightly more positive on the economic outlook, but were more downbeat on their own future personal finances,” said Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West. “Inflation expectations remain low by historical standards with median one-year ahead inflation expectations unchanged at 2.5%. Finally, consumers appear to be more cautious in their spending as fewer think now is a good time to buy a major household appliance, vehicle, and house.”
The other indexes were mixed, with consumer expectations rising to 85.9 from 84.2 and current conditions falling to 110.9 from 113.2. The November reading is in line with the 2019 average of 95.6.
The University of Michigan said negative references to tariffs were made by one-in-four consumers, while references to the impact of impeachment on economic prospects were virtually non-existent.
“Although consumers have…