2012 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Sentiment
Released On 11/9/2012 9:55:00 AM For Nov(p), 2012
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level82.6 83.3 80.0  to 86.0 84.9 

Highlights

With the election over and despite the approach of the fiscal cliff, consumer sentiment is strong, up 2.3 points to another recovery best of 84.9 at the mid-month reading. Confidence in current conditions is especially strong, at 91.3 vs October's final reading of 88.1. But expectations are also on the rise, up nearly 2 points to 80.8. Both of these readings, like the composite index, are at recovery bests.

Inflation readings are mixed with the 1-year outlook down 1 tenth to 3.0 percent but with the 5-year at 2.8 percent, up 1 tenth. Still, the dip underway in national gas prices will bolster consumer confidence in future income and should be a boost to non-gasoline consumer spending going into the holidays.

But it's not all about national politics as the consumer sentiment report began its rise back in August, about when strength in the housing sector started to get attention. The domestic consumer is the ultimate engine of the U.S. economy and today's report points to a rising contribution from consumer spending. The Dow is moving off opening lows following today's report.

Market Consensus before announcement
The Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index eased 5 tenths for the final October reading of 82.6 from mid-month but remained well above September's 78.3. Both the current conditions and the expectations components slipped 5 tenths from mid-month, to 88.1 and 79.0. Still, the 88.1 reading for current conditions was up a noticeable 2.4 points from September. The expectations index is up a sizable 5.5 points from September. The big question is what is happening on the margin. Month end readings are up versus the prior month but down compared to mid-October.

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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