2013 Economic Calendar
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Event Definitions   |   Today's Calendar

Consumer Sentiment
Released On 8/30/2013 9:55:00 AM For Aug, 2013
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level80.0 80.0 79.0  to 82.0 82.1 

Highlights
The consumer's assessment of economic conditions picked up the last two weeks of August, helping to lift the consumer sentiment index from 80.0 at mid-month to 82.1. Though the final reading is still 3 points shy of July's 85.1, the implied reading for the last two weeks of the report is in the low 84 area which points to little change in what may be a good sign for momentum going into September.

The current conditions component rose 4.2 points to 95.2 with the implied reading for the last two weeks near 99 which is little changed from July's 98.6. Though a comparison of the final monthly readings does point to slight month-to-month weakness for August's run of economic data, the weakness again was isolated at least to the early part of the month.

Also up is the expectations component, to 73.7 for an 8 tenths gain from mid-month and vs 76.5 in July. This reading, which hinges on expectations of future income, has been steady in the mid-70s area since moving up from the high 60s in April.

Inflation expectations are little changed with the 1-year reading at 3.0 percent, down 1 tenth from both mid-month and July, and with the 5-year reading at 2.9 percent, up 1 tenth from both mid-month and July. Though pump prices have been on the rise for the last week, the consumer has yet to really feel the ongoing rise in the price of oil which may become a factor for September.

Measures on the consumer mood have been mixed, with some flat like today's report and some weak like yesterday's consumer comfort index. The Dow is showing little initial reaction to today's report.

Recent History Of This Indicator
The Reuter's/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index for preliminary August fell 5.1 points to 80.0. This was the lowest reading since April. The decline was concentrated in the current conditions component which was down 7.6 points to 91.0 and is also the lowest reading since April. The reason for the decline is hard to pinpoint given the improvement underway in jobless claims and the strong uptrend in home prices. The price of gas, which has been coming down from last month, is not to blame either. The recent retreat in the stock market may be a negative, at least for the high income group. Another negative perhaps is the prospect that the Federal Reserve will begin tapering down its stimulus-but most consumers likely are not tracking this issue. The expectations component was also lower, down 3.6 points to 72.9 which again was the lowest reading since April.

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.)
 

 

2013 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/182/12/153/13/153/294/124/265/175/316/146/287/127/268/16
Release For: JanJanFebFebMarMarAprAprMayMayJunJunJulJulAug
 
Released On: 8/309/139/2710/1110/2511/811/2712/612/23
Release For: AugSepSepOctOctNovNovDecDec
 


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