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Consumers Expect Better Days Ahead

Consumers Expect Better Days Ahead

December 06, 2023

Many consider the University of Michigan the gold standard for reporting on consumer sentiment and trends. Among its 50 monthly reports, the most well-known is the "UMich Consumer Sentiment" survey, which measures consumer confidence.

I also follow the University of Michigan's “Expected Change in Financial Situation in a Year" report. As we see below, the index has been trending higher for over a year as inflation has moved lower and financial markets gained.

Investors believe their financial situation will improve due to a wide range of factors, including interest rates and home prices, to name a few. When investors are positive about the future, they tend to be more comfortable making longer-term commitments.

So when you see negative updates on credit card debt, the jobs market, or other reports, remember what this chart tells us: Despite all the concerns, people believe their financial situation will improve.