WalletHub Economic Index Shows Increasing Consumer Sentiment
The latest WalletHub Economic Index report has found a significant increase in consumer sentiment.
About the report:
Personal finance site WalletHub has released its June 2023 WalletHub Economic Index report. This national monthly survey asks consumers about their personal financial conditions and other money factors. These 10 components are then compiled to arrive at an overall economic index.
Headlining this month’s report is an 18.4% increase in consumer sentiment between June 2022 and today. What’s more, consumer financial stress improved, falling 10.6% year over year. Similarly, the number of responders who express optimism that their finances would improve in the next six months was up 12.1% compared to June 2022.
Those surveyed had expressed greater confidence in the employment market. Year over year, the number of consumers describing employment opportunities as “abundant” increased by 10%. Respondents were also slightly more confident that they’d have a job in the next six months, with this index component ticking up 2.5%.
Given the increased consumer confidence, it should come as no surprise that respondents were also more likely to be considering large purchases. Compared to last June, the number of consumers expecting to buy a car in the next six months rose by 9% while interest in buying a home increased by 6%.
What they’re saying:
Asked about these latest results and why consumer confidence was rising, Paul Goebel — director of the Student Money Management Center at the University of North Texas — noted, “We are at an interesting economic intersection with inflation and unemployment rates. However, I believe confidence is going up because a growing percentage of consumers are feeling more positive about the state of the economy and their personal financial circumstances.” Goebel added, “This optimism is inherent in the American character. While consumers may face personal financial challenges and lose confidence in the state of the country’s economy in the present, I feel that most consumers share a strong belief that tomorrow is another and better day.”
It’s impossible to write about this latest report without acknowledging that it comes on a day when the financial lives of millions of Americans could be heavily impacted. Today, the United States Supreme Court struck down President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. While student debt was not a direct part of WalletHub’s index, it’s fair to reason that the optimism that some consumers surveyed may have expressed had counted on loan forgiveness. Thus, it will be interesting to see how this index fares in the coming months.