2013 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Sentiment  
Released On 12/23/2013 9:55:00 AM For Dec(f), 2013
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level82.5 83.5 81.5  to 85.0 82.5 

Consumer sentiment has held steady and solid the last two weeks, unchanged at 82.5 for final December vs mid-month. But it's the comparison with final November's 75.1 that points to an especially good month for consumer spending in December.

And there is also some momentum in the comparison between early December and later December, and it's in the current conditions component which rose to 98.6 from 97.9 earlier in the month and from 88.0 in final November. The latest is the best reading since July and is very good news for retailers, indicating that consumers are unquestionably upbeat going into the final days of Christmas shopping.

Weakness in today's report comes in the less immediate component of expectations, which slipped 6 tenths from mid-month to 72.1. But decidedly favorable is the comparison with November's 66.8.

Gas prices have been steady and so are inflation expectations with 1-year expectations at 3.0 percent and with the 5-year reading coming down slightly, to 2.7 percent from 2.8 percent at mid-month and from 2.9 percent in November. Note that steady gas prices right now are another special plus for retailers.

November was a good month for consumer spending and for the economy and today's consumer sentiment report points to an even better month for December. The Dow is little changed following today's report.

Consensus Outlook
The Reuter's/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index posted at 82.5 for the early December reading versus 75.1 for final November and 72.0 at mid-month November. The latest reading is the best since July. A striking gain in the report was the current conditions component, up nearly 10 points to 97.9 which was also the best reading since July. Also showing a gain was the expectations component, up nearly 6 points to 72.7 for the first plus 70 reading since August. A separate reading on the 12-month economic outlook really improved, to 95 versus November's 79.

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.)

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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