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Data: University of Michigan; Chart: Axios Visuals

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.

What happened: 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.

What they're saying: "[A]nticipating 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 (see the featured chart). Sharp additional declines may occur when consumers adjust their views to a slower expected pace of the economic recovery."

Go deeper: The next economic crisis will hit states and cities

Go deeper

Senate confirms retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as defense secretary

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

The Senate voted 93-2 on Friday to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as secretary of defense. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) were the sole "no" votes.

Why it matters: Austin is the first Black American to lead the Pentagon and President Biden's second Cabinet nominee to be confirmed.

House will transmit article of impeachment to Senate on Monday, Schumer says

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that the House will deliver the article of impeachment against former President Trump for "incitement of insurrection" on Monday.

Why it matters: The Senate is required to begin the impeachment trial at 1 p.m. the day after the article is transmitted.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Private equity bets on delayed tax reform in Biden administration

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

In normal times, private equity would be nervous about Democratic Party control of both the White House and Congress. But in pandemic-consumed 2021, the industry seems sanguine.

Driving the news: Industry executives and lobbyists paid very close attention to Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen's confirmation hearings this week, and came away convinced that tax reform isn't on the near-term agenda.

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