Consumers were feeling slightly worse about the US economy in November, amid punishing rate hikes and decades-high inflation, according to a closely followed University of Michigan survey released Friday.
The preliminary index reading from the Surveys of Consumers showed sentiment fell to 54.7 from 59.9 in October. Economists were expecting sentiment levels to tick down to 59.5, according to estimates on Refinitiv.
The survey also showed that consumers’ inflation expectations for this year and five years out remained relatively unchanged, a key data point for the Federal Reserve. The median expected year-ahead inflation rate was 5.1%, up from 5% last month. Long-run expectations were at 3%, holding in the same 2.9% to 3.1% range for 15 of the past 16 months, according to the data.
The Fed is closely watching for shifts in consumer expectations to determine if inflation is becoming entrenched in the United States: If consumers believe prices will remain high, that could factor in to increased wage demands which, in turn, could cause businesses to raise prices.
On Thursday, the Labor Department’s monthly Consumer Price Index showed that inflation slowed to 7.7% in October, falling further than expected and sending stocks surging on the news.
This story is developing and will be updated.
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