2011 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Sentiment  
Released On 12/22/2011 9:55:00 AM For Dec(f), 2011
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level67.7 68.0 65.5  to 69.2 69.9 

Consumer sentiment continues to extend its improvement, to 69.9 in December from 64.1 in November and from 67.7 at mid month. The reading implies a very strong 72.1 over the last two weeks which points to momentum for January. The bulk of the gain is centered in expectations, at 63.6 in December for a more than eight point monthly gain that points further to momentum in the new year. The assessment of current conditions, likely held down by bad news out of Europe, rose only two points in the month to 79.6.

One likely positive for sentiment is improvement in the jobs market as well as the stock market which has been on the recovery. Another positive may be gasoline prices which, despite $100 oil, are on the decline. One-year inflation expectations eased one tenth in the month to 3.1 percent with five-year expectations unchanged at 2.7 percent. The Dow is moving to morning highs following this report. The December consumer confidence report from the Conference Board, which in November surged, will be posted on Tuesday.

Consensus Outlook
The Reuter's/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index for mid-December a strong 3.6 points to 67.7, led by a healthy 5.7 point jump in the leading component of expectations to 61.1. The gain in expectations suggests that consumers see improvement for their job prospects and for their income prospects, keys for acceleration in consumer spending. The consumer's assessment of current conditions is also showing improvement but to a lesser degree with the component up only three tenths to a still soft level of 77.9.

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.)

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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