Despite inflation, consumers ‘cautiously optimistic’ about economy, consumer report shows

The rise in consumer sentiment came as a surprise to experts.

A new report from the University of Michigan found people are starting to feel more optimistic about the economy. KSAT's Camelia Juarez found out how San Antonians are feeling and spoke to an expert about controlling finances in a shifting economy.

A new consumer report from the University of Michigan found people are starting to feel optimistic about the economy.

It’s a survey asking consumers about the state of the economy.

The rise in consumer sentiment came as a surprise to experts, as the previous report found the sentiment index at an all-time low, meaning most people were worried about spending and saving money.

This month it rose and experts believe the reason is lower gas prices.

Dana Bishop’s thoughts on the economy are similar to the people surveyed in the report.

“Gas has been coming down, luckily. So I feel like things, I mean, this is my hope that things will just kind of go back to normal…. I’m cautiously optimistic that things will lower and kind of settle down,” Bishop said.

Inflation, rising energy costs and a looming recession has more people thinking about their everyday purchases and less about savings.

“It’s really difficult as a young person when you know that you can’t build any economic power in this situation,” consumer Ariel Delvecchio said.

Instead, Victory Capital President Nikhil Sudan said if you start thinking about your finances long-term, then the economy may impact you less.

“You know, day-to-day fluctuations in the economy do affect us, but a very, in a very small way. We’re much, much more impacted by what happens over three, five, 10 years,” Sudan said.

With a stable income, by prioritizing expenses and taking advantage of savings where you can, Sudan said you can meet your financial goals in a shifting economy.

“Whether the economy is in recession or not should matter a little bit less because you have more control over your personal finances,” Sudan said.

Sudan said once you have a cushion of savings, then you can begin investing in mutual funds, bonds, and stocks so your money can make more money.

“There’s investments for growth or there’s investment to generate income, money that you need. So people typically in retirement are looking for income because they want to meet their day-to-day needs on an ongoing basis. Folks that are younger, which have a much longer time horizon, those are folks looking for capital appreciation,” Sudan said.


About the Author:

Camelia Juarez is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2022. Camelia comes from a station in Lubbock, Texas. Now, she is back in her hometown. She received her degree from Texas State University. In her free time, Camelia enjoys thrifting, roller-skating and spending time with family and friends.