The University of Michigan revealed the U.S preliminary consumer sentiment data for February on Friday. The report suggested improvement this month despite the recent outbreak of Coronavirus in China that was expected to weigh on the economy.
The UoM recorded the U.S consumer sentiment index at 100.9 this month. In a previous estimate by the analysts surveyed by Dow Jones, the index was expected to post at 99.5 in February.
Expectations Sub-Index Revealed At 92.6 In February
Consumers’ assessment of economic conditions (current) as per the data remained unchanged in February while expectations were recorded to have improved marginally as compared to January’s data. The expectations sub-index was revealed at 92.6 in February that marked its second-best reading in the ongoing economic expansion in the U.S that has been branded as the longest ever in history.
According to chief economist Richard Curtin:
“Current personal finances as well as evaluations of the national economy each posted large gains. Net gains in household income and wealth were reported more frequently in early February than at any prior time since 1960.”
He further added that the Coronavirus outbreak is currently not a major threat to the U.S economy. He highlighted only 7% of the consumers having mentioned the health emergency when inquired about their expectations for economic conditions at the start of February.
The UoM prelim consumer sentiment index was recorded at 99.8 in January. At 100.9, the U.S consumer sentiment in February was noted at its highest since 2018. The optimism of finances and the economy at large suggested that consumption can be expected to fuel growth in fiscal 2020.
U.S Core Retail Sales Remained Unchanged In January
In separate data on Friday, the U.S Census Bureau announced the retail sales to have remained unchanged in January that raised questions on the overall strength of the economy.
Friday’s data also highlighted 51% of the respondents expecting uninterrupted growth while in the period of the next five years, 39% expected it to see a downturn.
Friday’s data added more strength to the U.S dollar index that surged above the crucial 99.0 mark. Subsequently, one of the most widely traded currency pairs across the globe, EUR/USD, was seen losing traction in the forex market. Although the pair climbed to 1.0860 on Friday, it later dropped back to 1.0829 later in the day at which it closed for the week.