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February 28, 2017

Consumer sentiment dipped in February

Consumer sentiment, based on the Surveys of Consumers, dipped to 96.3, down from January’s index of 98.5. It was still higher than a year ago, and higher than predicted. Richard Curtin says the Sentiment Index has been higher in the last 3 months than anytime since March 2004. However, the growth was not due to widespread optimism, but is based largely on partisan difference, with self-identified Republicans expecting positive economic impacts and Democrats expecting negative impacts. Curtin says, “while the expectations of Democrats and Republicans largely offset each other, the overall gain in the Expectations Index was due to self-identified Independents, who were much closer to the optimism of the Republicans than the pessimism of the Democrats.”

More detail at Medill Reports Chicago and at the Surveys of Consumers website.