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Consumer Sentiment
Released On 1/13/2012 9:55:00 AM For Jan(p), 2012
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level69.9 71.5 70.0  to 80.0 74.0 

Highlights
The consumer sentiment index extends its move higher, to 74.0 at mid-month vs 69.9 in December. The index has been moving straight up since the August low of 55.7. Composite components both show solid gains with expectations up nearly 5 points to 68.4 and current conditions up 3 points to 82.6. Gas prices have been inching up so far this month and so are inflation expectations, up 1 tenth for the one-year view to 3.2 percent and up 1 tenth for the five-year view to 2.8 percent.

Sentiment has been climbing fast but it's been climbing from a deep hole, that of the budget standoff and rating cut shock of August. A year ago, the index closed January at 74.2, two tenths higher than the current mid-month reading.

Recent History Of This Indicator
The Reuter's/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index continued to extend its improvement to 69.9 in December final from 64.1 in November and from 67.7 at mid-December. The latest reading implies a very strong 72.1 over the last two weeks which points to momentum for January.

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.)
 

 

2012 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/131/272/102/243/163/304/134/275/115/256/156/297/137/278/17
Release For: JanJanFebFebMa(p)rMarAprAprMayMayJunJunJulJulAug
 
Released On: 8/319/149/2810/1210/2611/911/2112/712/21
Release For: AugSepSepOctOctNovNovDecDec
 


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