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Consumer Sentiment  
Released On 10/30/2009 9:55:00 AM For Oct(f), 2009
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level69.4 70.0 68.0  to 74.0 70.6 

Consumer confidence held steady and at least didn't deteriorate further in the second half of October, according to the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index that rose 1.2 points from mid-month to 70.6, a level however that is nearly 3 points lower than September and confirms weakness seen in Tuesday's monthly consumer confidence report from the Conference Board. The improvement from mid-month was split evenly between the assessment of current conditions and future conditions, which in this report show current conditions slightly ahead of expectations (a big contrast to the Conference Board's report where current conditions are severely lagging expectations). One-year inflation expectations rose 1 tenth from mid-month to 2.9 percent for a 7 tenth gain from September that no doubt reflects gains in gasoline prices. Five-year inflation expectations are unchanged, also at 2.9 percent. Today's results are a marginal positive for the outlook but are having no effect on the markets.

Consensus Outlook
The Reuter's/University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index for mid-October fell back more than 4 points to 69.4. Weakness was concentrated in the expectations index component which fell nearly 6 points to 67.6. The current conditions index dipped almost 1-1/2 points to 72.1. On the positive side, the latest overall number was still much improved from July and August’s depressed levels and especially from latter 2008.

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
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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