2013 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Sentiment
Released On 5/17/2013 9:55:00 AM For May(p), 2013
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level76.4 78.0 74.0  to 82.5 83.7 

Highlights
Consumer spirits are improving dramatically this month in what very well may be a reflection of improvement in the jobs market. The consumer sentiment index jumped to 83.7 for the mid-month reading vs 76.4 for the final April reading and vs April's mid-month reading of 72.3. The Econoday consensus was looking for 78.0 with the high-end estimate at 82.5. The latest reading is near the recovery high set in November.

Both the current conditions and the expectations components show solid gains with current conditions jumping 7.6 points to 97.5. This gain, which takes this reading to a new recovery high, offers a very upbeat indication for May's economic data, hinting at significant gains for jobs and consumer spending data in May's comparison with April.

The expectations component rose 7.0 points to 74.8 in a gain that points to economic strength six months out. A separate reading on the 12-month outlook shows a similar gain, at 99 vs April's 86.

A lack of ongoing inflation is one factor behind the consumer's upbeat mood. One-year inflation expectations are unchanged at 3.1 percent with 5-year expectations down 1 tenth to 2.8 percent.

The April employment report was better than expected while jobless claims, with the exception of last week, have been moving lower. The Dow is moving to opening highs in immediate reaction to today's report.

Market Consensus before announcement
The Reuter's/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index slipped in April overall, down to 76.4 from March's 78.6. But momentum was building during the latter half of the month based on the mid-month reading which was a surprisingly soft 72.3. The comparison points to an 80s reading for the last couple of weeks which is a good omen for May. The current conditions index rose more than 5 points from mid-month but at 89.9 was a little bit shy of March's 90.7. At 67.8, the expectations index also rose from mid-month but likewise was shy of the March reading, at 70.8.

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.)
 

 

2013 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/182/12/153/13/153/294/124/265/175/316/146/287/127/268/16
Release For: JanJanFebFebMarMarAprAprMayMayJunJunJulJulAug
 
Released On: 8/309/139/2710/1110/2511/811/2712/612/23
Release For: AugSepSepOctOctNovNovDecDec
 


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