2012 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Sentiment
Released On 2/24/2012 9:55:00 AM For Feb, 2012
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level72.5 73.0 71.0  to 76.5 75.3 

Highlights
Consumer sentiment is firm with the index at 75.3 for a three tenths gain from January and a nearly three point gain from mid-month. The strong second-half showing is a plus with the implied reading for the period at 78.1 in what would be the best level of the recovery so far.

Current conditions rose nearly 4-1/2 points to 83.0 though the comparison with January's 84.2 points to slight monthly weakness for February as a whole. Expectations rose nearly 2-1/2 points from mid-month to 70.3 which compares favorably to January's 69.1. Inflation expectations, despite rising gas prices, aren't yet signaling trouble with one-year expectations at 3.3 percent, up one tenth from mid-month but unchanged from January, and with five-year expectations at 2.9 percent, no change from mid-month though up two tenths month-to-month.

This report offers a two-week breakdown of each month with the first half showing weakness and the second half, in what should help the stock market today, bouncing back. Next reading on the consumer's mood will be Tuesday with the monthly consumer confidence report.

Recent History Of This Indicator
The Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index for early February unexpectedly slipped 2.5 points to 72.5. 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 was not so bad compared to softer readings in November and October of 77.6 and 75.1.

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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