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US: University of Michigan consumer sentiment index review – RBS

FXStreet (Delhi) – Research Team at RBS, reviews the recently released preliminary university of Michigan sentiment index for November.

Key Quotes

“The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index recovered further in November to 93.1, returning to its best level since July (before the China devaluation and subsequent sell-off in equities undermined confidence). The November reading was equal to the YTD average and well above the average reading for 2014 (84.1). Indeed, the 2015 YTD average is higher than any year since 2004 (when the index averaged 95.2).”

“In October, both assessments of current conditions and expectations for the future improved. As was the case in October, the largest gains were in households with incomes in the lower two-thirds of the distribution. Consumers reported more positive economic developments in early November, primarily about gains in employment (understandably, in the wake of the strong October jobs report). In addition, there were fewer negative reports about domestic stocks, the global economy, and international trade. In November, the long-term economic outlook returned to its January level, which was the most favorable since December 2004.”

“The one-year inflation expectation slipped in early November from 2.7% to 2.5%, moving into line with the 5-10 year inflation reading (which remained steady at 2.5% after slipping from 2.7% to 2.5% in October). The 5-10 year inflation reading matches the lowest on record, dating back to 1978 (prior to October, the reading was 2.5% in just one month – September 2005).”

“With inflation expectations low, the outlook for inflation-adjusted income was the highest since January 2007. In addition, buying plans in November were very favorable due to low prices and currently low interest rates. In particular, buying plans for large discretionary purchases improved. Vehicle buying plans regained the peak recorded at the start of the year, which was the highest level since July 2005. Finally, six-in- ten consumers expected interest rates to increase in the months ahead. This proportion has not increased in the past few months.”

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