The University of Michigan released preliminary data on Friday showing U.S. consumer sentiment has pulled back much more than expected in November after seeing modest improvements in recent months.
The report showed the consumer sentiment index slumped to 54.7 in November after inching up 59.9 in October. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 59.5.
The much bigger than expected decrease by the headline index was partly due to a steep drop by the current economic conditions index, which tumbled to 57.8 in November from 65.6 in October.
“All components of the index declined from last month, but buying conditions for durables, which had markedly improved last month, decreased most sharply in November,” said Surveys of Consumers Director Joanne Hsu.
The report showed a more modest decrease by the index of consumer expectations, which fell to 52.7 in November from 56.2 in October.
“Overall, declines in sentiment were observed across the distribution of age, education, income, geography, and political affiliation, showing that the recent improvements in sentiment were tentative,” said Hsu.
She added, “Instability in sentiment is likely to continue, a reflection of uncertainty over both global factors and the eventual outcomes of the election.”
Meanwhile, the report showed a continued rebound in inflation expectations following the decreases in August and September.
One-year inflation expectations crept up to 5.1 percent in November from 5.0 percent in October, while five-year inflation expectations inched up to 3.0 percent from 2.9 percent.
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