Consumer confidence rises less than expected

The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index for May came in at 94.7, lower than expected.

Economists had forecast that the index would strength to 95.4 from 89 in the prior month, according to Bloomberg.

Consumers remained confident in their financial prospects and continued to expect lower inflation, which would be a plus for their real incomes, according to Richard Curtin, chief economist of the survey.

But the big uncertainty surrounded whether the Fed would raise interest rates. In May, they were encouraged by the strong gains in home and auto sales, which were supported by low rates.

They’re also not sure what economic policies would be under a new president.

The report showed that inflation-adjusted consumer expenditures are expected to rise 2.5% in 2016, and 2.7% in 2017.

NOW WATCH: All 460 Sports Authority stores are closing — here’s when clearance sales begin

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at