Economist's Insights

Consumer Confidence Down More than Expected

May 30, 2017

The Conference Board’s May consumer confidence index declined more than expected and April’s index was revised lower. After rising in four of the first five months following the election (March peak), confidence has softened in two straight months. Despite a rosier present assessment, consumers reported less confidence in the future. The expectations index dropped to its second lowest level of the year on a migration to the middle on expectations for business conditions and the number of jobs. More people expect no change in these metrics while fewer expect them to worsen or improve. The difference between those expecting their incomes to increase versus decrease tightened and fewer consumers expect to purchase an auto or home within the next six months. As to markets, one-year inflation expectations were unchanged, fewer consumers expect interest rates to rise, and a larger number predict the stock bull will continue to run.