U.S. consumer sentiment suffered a record decline in April, according to the latest poll from the University of Michigan, but respondents are still irrationally confident about the future, the survey’s director says.
The survey’s gauge of preliminary consumer sentiment sank 18 points to 71, its lowest since 2011.
A measure of current conditions plunged by more than 31 index-points, nearly twice the previous record, while a measure of future expectations dropped by just under 10 points.
“Anticipating a quick and sustained economic expansion is likely to be a failed expectation, resulting in a renewed and deeper slump in confidence,” Richard Curtin, Michigan’s surveys of consumers chief economist, said in a statement.
“Consumers need to be prepared for a longer and deeper recession rather than the now discredited message that pent-up demand will spark a quick, robust, and sustained economic recovery.”
“Continued declines in the seven-day average Sentiment Index can be expected in the weeks ahead. Sharp additional declines may occur when consumers adjust their views to a slower expected pace of the economic recovery.”