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Scores: 📉 Consumer sentiment went down

Published 2 months ago • 1 min read

Welcome to Nonrival, the newsletter where readers make predictions about business, tech, and politics.

This is the first scoring email of Season 3 so everyone's total points have been reset, and now are based on just last week's question.

Thanks for forecasting. Send feedback to newsletter@nonrival.pub.

In this issue

Scores: Will the preliminary April Index of Consumer Sentiment be higher than the final March index of 79.4?

  • Your forecast: [040724 GOES HERE]%
  • Your score: [040724_POINTS GOES HERE] points (out of 100)

  • Your total Season 3 points: [TOTAL_POINTS GOES HERE]

Of readers who have made at least one forecast in Season 3...

  • The current high score is 100.

The mood darkens

Consumer sentiment fell in April, according to the University of Michigan's preliminary reading. The index fell from 79.4 to 77.9. Consumers' inflation expectations ticked up, too.

That means most readers were on the wrong side of this one, since most of us thought an increase was more likely than not.

What did we miss? Three possible explanations:

  1. It's the gas prices, stupid. As discussed last week, gas prices are rising and they're one of the most obvious and salient measures of inflation and consumer confidence.
  2. The wider fight against inflation has stalled. The CPI has come in higher than expected a couple of months in a row, and core inflation has stopped falling as well.
  3. My biggest takeaway though, is to remember that metrics like this are noisy and there's often reversion to the mean. Consumer sentiment may well keep improving throughout 2024, but for any given month it's harder to predict with any certainty.

Nonrival will be back with a new question next month, likely the first week of May.

Nonrival

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