2012 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Sentiment  
Released On 2/10/2012 9:55:00 AM For Feb(p), 2012
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level75.0 74.3 71.0  to 79.5 72.5 

The consumer sentiment report certainly did pick up the economic strength of December and especially January -- but now in a disappointment it's signaling monthly slowing. The current conditions component fell 4.6 points in the mid-February reading to 79.6, down 5.5 percent to completely reverse January's gain and take the level back to December. Yet the December level isn't so bad compared to softer readings in November and October of 77.6 and 75.1.

The mid-month expectations component slipped 1.6 percent to 68.0 from January's 69.1 but is still well above December's 63.6 and especially October's 51.8. The composite index slipped 2.5 points to 72.5. Inflation readings are mixed with one-year expectations down 1 tenth to 3.2 percent but with 5-year expectations up 2 tenths to 2.9 percent.

Sentiment measures of consumer confidence swing on turns in the jobs market and the current conditions component of this report, in contrast to the drop underway in jobless claims, points to the risk that the pace of payroll growth is slowing. The Dow is moving to session lows following today's report.

Consensus Outlook
The Reuter's/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index rose 1 point in the final January reading to 75.0. The mid-month reading of 74.0 was up more than 4 points from the final December reading which is a very strong gain. The implied reading for the last two weeks was a very solid 76.0 (based on the monthly survey sample being about equally distributed between the first half and second half). Levels were above the year-ago comparison for the first time in a year.
The latest rise in the sentiment index was led by the leading component of expectations which was at 69.1 for a 5.5 point gain from December. Current conditions, at 84.2, were up 4.6 points from December.

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.)

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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