As Retail Sales plunged 0.9% -- the steepest mark in two years -- and Consumer Sentiment surged by 8.3%, we have to (once again) question if the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment survey is of any use at all.
Assuming that there is a lag between a consumer's "improving feelings about the economy" and the time they spend their dollars, we would expect that the improvement since February would translate into Retail Sales improvements, too.
It didn't, and it hasn't (in this very small sample set).
Here are the questions of the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment survey, courtesy of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia:
500 people are polled and the answers to these five questions are used to predict the future of consumer spending.
However, how people say they'll act and what how they actually act are two very different things. As the chart above illustrates.
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