While UMich rose to a 14-year high in March, it was the “poor” that thrived while the “rich” were less confident. April’s preliminary print showed that weakness spreading as the headline sentiment index tumbled from 101.4 to 97.8 (missing 100.4 expectations).
Fewer households reported recent net income gains in early April than March (22%, down from 34%), but the median annual income increase consumers anticipated for the year ahead rose to 2.1%, up from1.7% in March and 1.6% last April
Surprisingly, all of the April gain was among Democrats and Independents.
Current conditions and Future expectations both fell…
Uncertainty surrounding the evolving trade policy has caused many small (and at times inconsistent) changes in expectations. Spontaneous references to trade policies were made by 29% of all consumers in early April, with nearly all the mentions negative (27% out of 29%).
Negative economic developments were reported more frequently than positive economic changes for the first time since last July. Negative economic news was cited by 66% in early April, up from 55% last month and 45% in January.
This drop is the biggest since Oct 2016 (before Trump’s election)…
Both short- and medium-term inflation expectations fell (medium-term back down to 2.4%, near its record low).