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Consumer Sentiment  
Released On 1/16/2009 9:55:00 AM For Jan(p), 2009
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level60.1 59.0 54.0  to 62.0 61.9 

Consumer sentiment remains near historic lows, a reflection of the contracting jobs market and troubles in the banking system. The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index edged 8 tenths higher to 61.9 in an insignificant gain for the preliminary January reading. The most interesting readings of the report are inflation expectations which, in contrast to this morning's CPI report, are beginning to turn higher with 1-year expectations up 3 tenths at 2.0 percent and 5-year expectations up 4 tenths at 3.0 percent. These readings certainly don't reflect any price increases at the gas pump or the shopping cart but may reflect an intuition that economic contraction, and with it price contraction, may soon begin to ease. The dollar firmed in limited reaction to the report.

Consensus Outlook
The Reuter's/University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index in December edged 1 point higher to 60.1, reflecting slight improvement in the expectations component. Levels, however, are still extremely depressed. The positive numbers is that inflation expectations have been trending down. For December, 1-year inflation expectations held steady at a low 1.7 percent while 5-year expectations eased a bit lower to 2.6 percent.

Consumer sentiment Consensus Forecast for preliminary January 09: 59.0
Range: 54.0 to 62.0

The University of Michigan's Consumer Survey Center questions 600 households each month on their financial conditions and attitudes about the economy. Consumer sentiment is directly related to the strength of consumer spending. Consumer confidence and consumer sentiment are two ways of talking about consumer attitudes. Among economic reports, consumer sentiment refers to the Michigan survey while consumer confidence refers to The Conference Board's survey. Preliminary estimates for a month are released at mid-month. Final estimates for a month are released near the end of the month.  Why Investors Care
Consumer sentiment is mainly affected by inflation and employment conditions. However, consumers are also impacted by current events such as bear & bull markets, geopolitical events such as war and terrorist attacks. Investors monitor consumer sentiment because it tends to have an impact on consumer spending over the long run (although not necessarily on a monthly basis.)

2009 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/161/302/132/273/133/274/175/15/155/296/126/267/107/248/14
Release For: JanJanFebFebMarMarAprAprMayMayJunJunJulJulAug
Released On: 8/289/119/2510/1610/3011/1311/2512/1112/23
Release For: AugSepSepOctOctNovNovDecDec

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