Consumer sentiment rises for December despite Trump’s impeachment

A holiday shopper enters the New York City Subway following Black Friday shopping, November 29, 2019.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Consumer sentiment rose slightly in December as President Donald Trump’s impeachment had a “barely noticeable impact” on economic expectations, the University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers said Friday. 

The index of consumer sentiment reached 99.3 for the month. That’s just above a Reuters estimate of 99.2 and surpasses November’s print of 96.8.

Current economic conditions also improved among consumers while overall expectations ticked higher in December.

Richard Curtin, chief economist for the Surveys of Consumers, said most of this month’s uptick in sentiment came from upper income households, “with those in the top third of the income distribution gaining 7.5% from last month.”

He also said the impeachment hearing “had a barely noticeable impact on economic expectations, as it was mentioned by just 2% of all consumers in the December survey.”

Wall Street has also looked past the impeachment proceedings. In fact, the S&P 500 is up more than 7% since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal inquiry in September. 

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