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

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage."
  2. Health: Mask mandates help control the rise in coronavirus hospitalizations. Hospitals face a crush.
  3. Business: Coronavirus testing is a windfall. Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. World: Putin mandates face masks.

The GOP's monstrous math problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Republicans, win or lose next week, face a big — and growing — math problem.

The state of play: They're relying almost exclusively on a shrinking demographic (white men), living in shrinking areas (small, rural towns), creating a reliance on people with shrinking incomes (white workers without college degrees) to survive.

Right-wing misinformation machine could gain steam post-election

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

With less than a week until the 2020 election, researchers have expressed concern that the information ecosystem today is ripe for an unprecedented level of exploitation by bad actors, particularly hyper-partisan media and personalities on the right.

Why it matters: The misinformation-powered right-wing media machine that fueled Donald Trump's 2016 victory grew stronger after that win, and it's set to increase its reach as a result of the upcoming election, whether Trump wins or loses.

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