University of Michigan Preliminary Consumer Sentiment Index Released for September 2022

The University of Michigan Friday (9-16-22) released its Preliminary Consumer Sentiment Index (CSI) for September. The Index of Consumer Sentiment increased to a reading of 59.5 in September, up from its reading of 58.2 in August. This is month-over-month increase of 2.2% but down 18.3% year-over-year (72.8 in September 2021).

The Current Economic Conditions increased to a reading of 58.9 in September, up from its reading of 58.6 in August. This is a month-over-month increase of 0.5% but down 26.5% year-over-year (80.1 in September 2021).

Finally, the Index of Consumer Expectations increased to a reading of 59.9 in September, up from its reading of 58.0 in August. This is a month-over-month increase of 3.3% but down 12.0% year-over-year (68.1 in September 2021).

In remarks and analysis prepared to accompany the release of the CSI, Joanne Hsu, Director of Surveys for the University of Michigan, said:

“Consumer sentiment was essentially unchanged in September, just 1.3 index points above August. The one-year economic outlook continued lifting from the extremely low readings earlier in the summer, but these gains were largely offset by modest declines in the long-run outlook. Personal finance components of the index as well as buying conditions for durables remained at similar, relatively low levels from last month. After the marked improvement in sentiment in August, consumers showed signs of uncertainty over the trajectory of the economy.

With continued declines in energy prices, the median expected year-ahead inflation rate declined to 4.6%, the lowest reading since last September. At 2.8%, median long-run inflation expectations fell below the 2.9-3.1% range for the first time since July 2021. However, it is unclear if these improvements will persist, as consumers continued to exhibit substantial uncertainty over the future trajectory of prices (see chart in original source). Uncertainty over short-run inflation reached levels last seen in 1982, and uncertainty over long run inflation rose from 3.9 to 4.5 this month, well above the 3.4 level seen last September.”

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Original Source:
Preliminary Results for September 2022