Consumer Sentiment, Current Conditions, Expectations and Inflation Outlook All Worsen in February

Craig Bannister | March 1, 2024
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Consumer sentiment declined in February, disappointing analysts’ expectations, according to the monthly University of Michigan Consumer Index report released Friday.

February’s drop in consumer sentiment was the first month-to-month decline in three months. Economists had expected the index to be unchanged. Consumers’ assessment of their current personal finances and their expectations also deteriorated, while their inflation fears increased from the previous month.

Compared to January:

  • February’s Consumer Sentiment Index fell to 76.9, down from 79.0 in January.
  • The Current (conditions) Index fell to 79.4, down from 81.9 in January.
  • The Expectations Index fell to 75.2, down from 77.1 in January and revised lower from 78.4.
  • One-year inflation expectations rose from 2.9% in January to 3.0%.


Inflation has been a persistent problem for consumers, driven by a spike in the cost of food and shelter, as evidenced by the monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals.

According to the latest report, January’s 0.3% month-to-month increase was the highest since last September’s 0.4% rise.

The business and economic reporting of is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.