In the News – Consumer Sentiment Rebounded in Early June — University of Michigan

In the News – Consumer Sentiment Rebounded in Early June — University of Michigan

Americans’ view of the economy improved in early June as the country continued to reopen while trying to contain the coronavirus pandemic, according to a University of Michigan survey released Friday.

The survey’s index of consumer sentiment rose to 78.9 in the two weeks ended June 10, from 72.3 for the previous four weeks. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a reading of 75.0.

The index’s rise showed that a growing share of U.S. consumers expected the economy to improve, said Richard Curtin, the survey’s chief economist. “The turnaround is largely due to renewed gains in employment, with more consumers expecting declines in the jobless rate than at any other time in the long history of the Michigan surveys,” he said.

The index of current conditions rose to 87.8, compared with 82.3 the prior month, while the expectations index climbed to 73.1, from 65.9 in May.

Respondents’ views on the economy varied with their political-party affiliation. Consumer sentiment among Republicans jumped 11 points since May, compared with a 0.7 point rise among Democrats. The index of independents ticked up 7.2 points.

However, nearly half of consumers said they expected another downturn, said Mr. Curtin, adding that a coronavirus resurgence was the most often cited cause among these respondents.

The survey was conducted between May 27 and June 10. During that time, all 50 states had begun easing restrictions on businesses. Americans filed at least 3 million applications for unemployment insurance benefits over that two-week period.

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