Foodservice Equipment Reports

Consumer Sentiment And Gas Prices Tick Up Mid-April

Consumer sentiment rose in the preliminary April reading, according to the University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers, exceeding analysts’ expectations. The UM Sentiment Index reached 95.9 mid-month, up from a final March reading of 93. The indexes for current conditions and consumer expectations also rose more than analysts had expected.

Consumer sentiment has been running at levels not seen since before the recession and in some cases since 2004, as the strong jobs market, the plunge in gasoline prices and other economic factors have buoyed consumer spirits.

Meanwhile, gasoline prices have been rising through most of April as crude-oil prices have strengthened, but the rise has been very moderate. The average price nationally of a gallon of regular gasoline reached $2.532 on Sunday, April 26, up 9 cents from a week prior but only 10.8 cents higher than a month ago. The real news is that the national average of regular gasoline prices remains more than $1.16 less than this time a year ago and is at its lowest level since the depth of the recession in 2009.