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Consumer Sentiment
Released On 1/30/2009 9:55:00 AM For January, 2009
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level61.9 61.9 59.0  to 65.0 61.2 

Highlights
Economic readings are beginning to flatten, that is are pointing at severe but non-accelerating rates of contraction. The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index was little changed in January at severely depressed levels, at 61.2 vs. a mid-month reading of 61.9 and a December reading of 60.1. Both the assessment of expectations and the assessment of current conditions, the two components of the headline index, were little changed. Inflation expectations were mixed with one-year expectations rising 2 tenths to 2.2 percent but five-year expectations easing 1 tenth to 3.0 percent. One-year expectations in the Conference Board's report on Tuesday also showed a slight uptick, perhaps suggesting that consumers are sensitive to the mild increase underway in gas prices. There was no significant reaction to the results.

Market Consensus before announcement
The Reuter's/University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index shows a consumer sector that is very worried about the economy as this index in mid-January remained near historic lows. 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 were for inflation expectations, which have begun 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. Apparently consumers are noticing how much bailout money is being thrown around.

Consumer sentiment Consensus Forecast for final January 08: 61.9
Range: 59.0 to 65.0

Definition
The University of Michigan's Consumer Survey Center questions 500 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
 
[Chart]
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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