Consumer Sentiment Appears to be Reaching Plateau Heading into Summer Season; Americans' "Wait and See" Attitudes Indicative of Decelerating Job Growth and Flattening Macro Trends
Gradual positive trends in consumer attitudes observed since early fall 2011 appear to be reaching a plateau, according to results from Fannie Mae’s May 2012 National Housing Survey. Recent consumer attitudinal trends reflect overall macroeconomic indicators, which point to a continued lull in the pace of employment and income growth.
"Our May consumer data show that Americans are taking a 'wait and see' approach about buying or selling a home. This is not surprising given their assessment that their income during the past twelve months and their personal financial expectation for the next twelve have leveled off. These data are in line with what we are seeing on the macroeconomic front, as upside and downside risks and activities are moderating one another," said Doug Duncan, vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae. "Current jobs data are reminiscent of the spring slowdown that continued into the summer months during the last two years. If this pattern continues, we do not expect to see any significant upturn in consumer sentiment during the summer and a meaningful housing recovery likely will be delayed once again."
Fannie Mae's monthly national consumer attitudinal survey report provides indicators offering a window into the opinions of Americans across the country. These behavioral insights convey what consumers think about the outlook for owning and renting a home and about their household finances, and may serve as key inputs for determining the future course of investment across housing types.
On this webpage you will find a news release with highlights from the survey results, the May 2012 Data Release highlighting eleven consumer attitudinal indicators, and a podcast containing highlights from this month's survey.