Jan 24, 2024 - Business

High-income Americans are feeling really great

U.S. consumer sentiment, by annual income
Data: Morning Consult Axios Inequality Index; Chart: Axios Visuals

Consumer sentiment rose across income groups in January — and it surged the most among those earning more than $100,000, according to Morning Consult polling out Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: It's just the latest sign of a turnaround in Americans' dour economic mood.

Zoom in: Sentiment among the highest earners, in particular, is highly correlated with the stock market. And the S&P 500 has been on a tear lately — just hitting a new high.

  • Vibes among the $100k+ crowd have also improved because job insecurity has fallen, says John Leer, chief economist at Morning Consult. Fears about layoffs retreated after the end of 2023, he said.
  • "And if they're reading the financial news, I think increasingly people are expecting a soft landing," he said.

The bottom line: You don't need an economics degree for this one. Making more money boosts one's mood.

  • People in families earning more money are better off financially, so it stands to reason that they're feeling better than everyone else, Leer said.
  • The gap in sentiment between high and low earners reflects some "deep underlying economic reality."
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