Consumer confidence withstands Boston bombing

Apr 29, 2013

The overall level of consumer confidence declined in April from March, but was identical to last April's reading, according to University of Michigan economist Richard Curtin, director of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers. The Surveys, conducted by the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR) since 1946, monitor consumer attitudes and expectations.

Most of the April loss was in how viewed future economic prospects, according to Curtin. In particular, consumers were less optimistic about the ability of the economy to continue to expand without a renewed sometime in the next five years. The strengths in are now attributable to gains in household wealth, including rising home values and as well as reduced debts. Indeed, favorable attitudes toward vehicle and home buying conditions continued to point toward improved sales of homes and vehicles during the year ahead. These improved trends have been particularly strong among upper-income households.

Rising home prices expected to continue

Rising home values were reported by the highest number of homeowners since late 2007, although it was still less than half of the 2005 peak of 76%. The recent rise in home values as well as expected gains during the years ahead were heavily concentrated among households in the upper third of the income distribution. During the past three months, the upper income households expected an annual gain of 2.8 percent in the value of their home over the next five years, compared with just 0.3 percent by households in the lower third of the income distribution.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Income and jobs still top concern

Just one-in-four consumers in the April survey anticipated a decline in the during the year ahead. When asked about anticipated income gains, half expected no gain in their household incomes during the year ahead, and half of all consumers thought there was less than a 25 percent chance of an increase in their inflation-adjusted income gain during the next five years.

Consumer Sentiment Index

The Sentiment Index was 76.4 in the April 2013 survey, down from 78.6 in March and equal to last April's reading. The Expectations Index recorded the largest decline, falling to 67.8 in April from 70.8 in March and 72.3 recorded in the April 2012 survey. The Current Economic Conditions Index was 89.9 in April, slightly below the 90.7 in March but well above the 82.9 recorded last April.

About the survey

The Surveys of Consumers is a rotating panel survey based on a nationally representative sample that gives each household in the coterminous U.S. an equal probability of being selected. Interviews are conducted throughout the month by telephone. The minimum monthly change required for significance at the 95-percent level in the Sentiment Index is 4.8 points; for Current and Expectations Index the minimum is 6.0 points. For more information, visit the Surveys of Consumers website at press.sca.isr.umich.edu.

Explore further: Outside CEOs could rejuvenate struggling businesses

More information: Link to related Excel chart
Link to related Excel table
Surveys of Consumers

Related Stories

Consumer confidence continues to improve in March

Apr 01, 2013

Consumer confidence continued to improve in March due to more positive signs of expanding employment, according to University of Michigan economist Richard Curtin, director of the Thomson Reuters/University ...

Consumer confidence posts a significant gain in September

Oct 01, 2012

Consumer confidence improved substantially in September due to more favorable prospects for the national economy, according to University of Michigan economist Richard Curtin, director of the Thomson Reuters/University ...

Consumer confidence improves slightly in August

Sep 03, 2012

(Phys.org)—Consumer confidence improved slightly in August due to consumers' more favorable evaluations of their present financial situations, according to University of Michigan economist Richard Curtin, ...

Consumer confidence plunges in December

Dec 24, 2012

(Phys.org)—Confidence plunged in December as consumers confronted the rising likelihood that political gridlock would push the country over the fiscal cliff.

Recommended for you

Outside CEOs could rejuvenate struggling businesses

12 hours ago

CEOs hired from outside a company tend to spend more money on research and development, while CEOs hired from within are likely to make large, strategic acquisitions, new research from the University of Missouri ...

Do government technology investments pay off?

Mar 30, 2015

Studies confirm that IT investments in companies improve productivity and efficiency. University of Michigan professor M.S. Krishnan wondered if the same was true for government.

Study finds assisted housing works, but it could be improved

Mar 30, 2015

Two researchers from the University of Kansas Department of Urban Planning have just completed a study on the locations of assisted housing units and assisted households across the nation. It examines one of the key issues ...

Economist probes the high cost of health care

Mar 27, 2015

When Zack Cooper arrived at Yale as assistant professor of public health and economics, he gained access to a first-of-its-kind dataset. Working with the non-profit Health Care Cost Institute, Cooper and ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.