U.S. Consumer Sentiment Drops To Six-Month Low In November

Preliminary data released by the University of Michigan on Friday showed consumer sentiment in the U.S. has deteriorated by much more than expected in the month of November.

The University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index slid to 60.4 in November from 63.8 in October. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 63.7.

The consumer sentiment index decreased for the fourth consecutive month, falling to its lowest level since hitting 59.0 in May.

“While current and expected personal finances both improved modestly this month, the long-run economic outlook slid 12%, in part due to growing concerns about the negative effects of high interest rates,” said Surveys of Consumers Director Joanne Hsu. “Ongoing wars in Gaza and Ukraine weighed on many consumers as well.”

“Overall, lower-income consumers and younger consumers exhibited the strongest declines in sentiment,” she added. “In contrast, sentiment of the top tercile of stock holders improved 10%, reflecting the recent strengthening in equity markets.”

The current economic conditions index slumped to 65.7 in November from 70.6 in October, while the index of consumer expectations fell to 56.9 from 59.3.

The report also said year-ahead inflation expectations rose to 4.4 percent in November from 4.2 percent in October, reaching the highest level since hitting 4.7 percent in April.

Hsu said the uptick indicates the “large increase between September’s 3.2% reading and October’s 4.2% reading was no fluke.”

Long-run inflation expectations also increased from 3.0 percent in October to 3.2 percent in November, marking the highest reading since 2011.

“Gas price expectations, both over the short and long run, rose to their highest readings this year,” Hsu said.

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