US long-term inflation expectations retreated in May from earlier in the month, but consumer sentiment remained lower amid the debt-ceiling drama.
(Bloomberg) — US long-term inflation expectations retreated in May from earlier in the month, but consumer sentiment remained lower amid the debt-ceiling drama.
Consumers expect prices will climb at an annual rate of 3.1% over the next five to 10 years, down slightly from the 3.2% expected earlier in the month, which was a 12-year high. They see costs rising 4.2% in the next 12 months, compared to the preliminary reading of 4.5%, according to the final May reading from the University of Michigan.
From the prior month, however, the university’s sentiment index fell to 59.2, data out Friday showed. That was a 7% decline, similar to the dynamics during the 2011 debt-limit standoff, said Joanne Hsu, director of the survey.
“Consumer confidence in the government’s handling of the economy fell substantially this month, reflecting the government’s failure thus far to resolve the debt-ceiling crisis,” Hsu said in a statement.
More than half of consumers felt that the government is doing a poor job with economic policy, the highest share in ten months, according to the report.
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Consumer sentiment has been subdued as inflation ebbs only slowly and higher interest rates have made buying conditions that much worse. Data out earlier Friday showed inflation accelerated in April while spending also picked up.
Buying conditions for durable goods remained at a five-month low in May compared to earlier in the month. The year-ahead outlook and long-run expectations plunged from April, “indicating that consumers are concerned that any recession to come may cause lasting pain,” Hsu said.
The current conditions and expectations gauges both fell from April.
–With assistance from Kristy Scheuble.
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