The University of Michigan reported today that their index of consumer sentiment slipped almost three points from it’s thirteen-year high in January. The consumer expectations index dropped almost 5 points.
Both the stock market and consumer confidence increased after the national election in November, but now the numbers seem to be softening. Consumers who expressed an opinion about the policies of the current administration were nearly evenly split between those that viewed them negatively or positively. The University of Michigan reports that the number of respondents expressing an opinion, positive or negative, was unusually high.
Not surprisingly, the split was partisan, with Republicans anticipating growth, and Democrats predicting recession. Consumer expectations of inflation remain low as it appears a strong dollar is keeping prices in check.
While consumer confidence is relatively high, one economist did suggest that the slipping of confidence numbers may be due to a lack of concrete plans and proposals from the new administration.