2011 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Sentiment  
Released On 10/14/2011 9:55:00 AM For Oct(p), 2011
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level59.4 60.0 57.0  to 64.0 57.5 

Highlights
Spirits are depressed but spending is strong. This is the contrast right now in the economic data, crystallized this morning in yet another very weak consumer sentiment report vs what can easily be called a robust retail sales report. Consumer sentiment fell nearly two points at the mid-month reading to 57.5, extending weakness from the August shock month and last revisited in the early part of the 2008 recession and the Iranian hostage & oil crisis back a generation ago.

Weakness so far this month is centered once again in the leading component of expectations which at 47.0, down 2.4 points from September's final reading, indicates that consumers, hit by the soft jobs market and by soft income prospects, see no relief in sight. The assessment of current conditions also declined, down 1.1 points to a 73.8 level that continues to show less severe weakness than expectations.

One positive in today's report is an easing in inflation expectations, down one tenth for the one-year view to 3.2 percent and down two tenths for the five-year view to 2.7 percent. Readings on consumer spirits are not in line with consumer spending. How long the separation will last and which will converge with the other are open questions. There's little initial reaction to today's report.

Recent History Of This Indicator
The Reuter's/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index improved marginally for the final reading for September, printing at 59.4 versus 57.8 at mid-month and 55.7 at month-end August. The 1.6 point gain in the month-end to mid-month September comparison implies a 61.0 reading for the last two weeks of the month. Though higher than the shock-infested month of August, this reading was the weakest since the recession period of early 2009.

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.)
 
 

2011 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/141/282/112/253/113/254/154/295/135/276/177/17/157/298/12
Release For: JanJanFebFebMarMarAprAprMayMayJunJunJulJulAug
 
Released On: 8/269/169/3010/1410/2811/1111/2312/912/22
Release For: AugSepSepOctOctNovNovDecDec
 


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