The release of the preliminary results of the University of Michigan’s monthly consumer confidence survey revealed that sentiment was unchanged in February.
The index held at 81.2, defying economists’ consensus forecast for a drop to 80.2.
The economic conditions sub-index fell to 94.0 from 96.8, while the economic outlook sub-index advanced to 73.0 from 71.2.
Inflations expectations one year ahead rose to 3.3% from 3.1%, while inflation expectations 5 years ahead were unchanged at 2.9%.
“The current conditions index is little changed since last summer, consistent with the broadly flat trend in jobless claims since, despite wild short-term swings,” says Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
“The expectations component responds to stock prices with a lag, so we doubt the gain reported today will be sustained; we expect a clear decline in March. In the short-term, spending and sentiment often do not move together, but it is hard to imagine a robust medium-term improvement without higher confidence.”