Politics

Consumer Sentiment Is Positive Even with ‘Wiggle’ of Largest Intramonth Drop Since March 2020

On Friday’s broadcast of Bloomberg’s “Balance of Power,” White House Council of Economic Advisers Chair Jared Bernstein reacted to the fall in consumer sentiment in the University of Michigan survey, which was the worst intramonth fall since March of 2020, by stating that the positive three-month trend “is a much more reliable trend than this wiggle we got off of the movement from the preliminary, which was positive, to the final, which was negative.”

Co-host Kailey Leinz asked, “When we look at data like this, which suggests that, after a lot of conversation about consumer sentiment being on the upswing, maybe it is not actually that steady, perhaps not that sustainable, potentially still a little bit vulnerable, does that make you nervous?”

Bernstein responded, “Well, the three-month consumer sentiment index is up almost 25%. And that is a much more reliable trend than this wiggle we got off of the movement from the preliminary, which was positive, to the final, which was negative. Look, your point about the gas price is a good one, and we’re going to have to keep watching this very carefully. But I don’t think anyone should change their view that consumer sentiment, consumer confidence has been moving, in a pretty reliable way, in a direction suggesting that economic improvements have been reaching people in a way that they weren’t a few months ago. And those improvements, of course, reflect easing inflationary pressures, a strong job market, rising real wage growth, very strong consumer spending, and GDP. Any one month can wiggle and bounce one way or another. But the trend remains solid in that regard.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett



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