Americans Haven’t Been This Confident in the Economy in More Than a Decade


March 2018

By Selina Stoller, Summit Consumer Receivables Acquisitions, LLC


Americans are showing their highest confidence in the economy since 2004.

U.S. consumer sentiment has risen more than preliminary March readings anticipated. According to CNBC, the University of Michigan’s Survey of Consumers mid-month report on consumer attitudes rose to 102 in March – its highest level in more than a decade.

The survey measures 500 consumers’ attitudes on future economic prospects, in areas such as personal finances, inflation, unemployment, government policies and interest rates.

Reuters economists expected the reading to only reach 99.3 from the previous month’s reading of 99.9.

The Survey of Consumers showed high expectations for growth during the new Trump administration. According to FOX News, the University of Michigan said Friday consumer sentiment rose 4.7 points from a month earlier to a reading of 98.2.

Consumer views on the current state of the economy have risen steadily while a measure of the expectation for growth in the future has climbed even more quickly.

Consumers appeared to be focused on positive economic news – especially noting a favorable economic outlook and confidence regarding personal finances. This unexpected jump in consumer sentiment reaches a 14-year high after tax cuts boosted disposable incomes.

Positive comments regarding the recent tax reform were frequent in the survey, along with one in five consumers having negative views of the recent steel and aluminum tariffs.

“Importantly, near term inflation expectations jumped to their highest level in several years, and interest rates were expected to increase by the largest proportion since 2004,” the survey’s chief economist Richard Curtin said in a statement.

Overall, consumers continue to express confidence in both buying and borrowing in advance due to expected improving trends.

  • 20 Mar, 2018
  • Josh Smith

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