2013 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Sentiment  
Released On 9/13/2013 9:55:00 AM For Sep(p), 2013
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level82.1 82.0 80.5  to 85.0 76.8 

Consumer sentiment so far this month has fallen to its lowest level since early in the year, to 76.8 vs 82.1 for final August and vs 80.0 at mid-month August. The cause of the noticeable weakness, given mostly steady economic news, is difficult to pin point but perhaps reflects heightened concern earlier this month over a military strike against Syria, concern that is since fading and perhaps points to a bounce back for consumer sentiment in the second half of the month.

But the data on the first half of the month are soft with current conditions, a component that offers early clues on the monthly comparison with August, falling 3.4 points to 91.8. Note that strength in August was confined to the second half of the month and that the first half was weak. In fact a comparison of the mid-month readings shows a 0.8 point improvement this month.

The expectations component shows the most weakness, down 6.5 points to 67.2 which is the lowest reading since the tax-hike days of January. A separate reading on the 12-month economic outlook is down a very steep 10 points to 85.

Gas prices, despite the brief Syrian-related spike in oil to $110, have been steady so far this month, yet inflation readings in this report show a little pressure perhaps related to the oil spike. Expectations for the 1-year outlook are up 2 tenths to 3.2 percent with the 5-year outlook up 1 tenth to 3.0 percent.

Today's earlier report on retail sales shows deceleration in August with today's report hinting at further deceleration in September -- but only hinting.

Consensus Outlook
The Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index picked up the last two weeks of August, helping to lift the consumer sentiment index from 80.0 at mid-month to 82.1. Though the final reading is still 3 points shy of July's 85.1, the implied reading for the last two weeks of the report is in the low 84 area which points to little change in what may be a good sign for momentum going into September. The current conditions component rose 4.2 points to 95.2 with the implied reading for the last two weeks near 99 which is little changed from July's 98.6. Also up was the expectations component, to 73.7 for a 1.2 point gain from mid-month and versus 76.5 in July. This reading, which hinges on expectations of future income, has been steady in the mid-70s area since moving up from the high 60s in April.

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
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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