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Consumer Sentiment  
Released On 6/26/2009 9:55:00 AM For Jun(f), 2009
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level69.0 69.7 68.5  to 70.0 70.8 

Consumer spirits are improving but only very slightly. The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose 1.8 points from mid-month to end the month at 70.8, up only 1.9 points from May. The index had jumped nearly 4 points in May and nearly 8 points in April.

The worst part of the June report is that expectations have stalled, at 69.2. Expectations often point to the future direction of the headline index. The current conditions index, the other component in the headline index, is improving, up 5-1/2 points at 73.2 -- the gain hopefully reflects improvement in the jobs market (note that Tuesday's consumer confidence report from the Conference Board will include consumer assessments of the jobs market). Inflation expectations firmed with 1-year expectations up 3 tenths to 3.1 percent. But the gain is seasonal, tied to rising pump prices during the driving season.

Big gains for consumer confidence in April and May made for expectations that the big gains would continue into June, but they haven't at least based on the Reuters/University of Michigan report. The S&P 500 dipped about 3 points in reaction to today's report.

Consensus Outlook
The Reuter's/University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index for mid-June edged only 3 tenths higher to 69.0. Expectations, which have been driving consumer measurements sharply higher for the last two months, actually fell back in this report, down 4 points to 65.4 for the first decline since February. But now the good news, the assessment of current conditions, which has been flat, jumped nearly 7 points to 74.5. Looking ahead, the consumer has had mixed news to soak in. Initial jobless claims are down but unemployment is up due to higher continuing jobless claims. The stock market has retreated modestly and gasoline prices are taking a bigger bite out of the budget.

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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