2013 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Confidence  
Released On 8/27/2013 10:00:00 AM For Aug, 2013
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Consumer Confidence - Level80.3 81.0 78.0 74.8  to 80.0 81.5 

Readings on consumer spirits have been under pressure this month and, despite a steady reading at the headline level, include the Conference Board's consumer confidence report. The report's composite headline index does show a slight increase, to 81.5 this month from July's revised 81.0, but there's a little bit of weakness in the present situation component which is down to 70.7 from 73.6 which hints at general weakness for August's run of economic indicators.

On the plus side, the expectations component is up, to 88.7 for a 2.7 point gain. A very big plus here is the consumer's outlook on income which, after sliding at the beginning of the year in reaction to the hike in payroll taxes, is now at a 2-1/2 year high. The consumer's outlook on business conditions and the jobs market is also up.

Looking again at the present situation, readings on business conditions are down while readings on the current jobs market are mixed with fewer calling jobs plentiful but, in what is a strong detail in this report, with fewer calling jobs hard to get -- to 33.0 percent for a very sizable 2.5 percentage point decline. This reading is closely watched and the decline will be seen by many as a positive signal for the August employment report.

Other details in the report show wide declines in buying plans especially for homes in what may be an early effect of the rise in mortgage rates. Buying plans for appliances are also down and likely also reflect less confidence in the housing outlook. A positive in the report is strength in the outlook for the stock market in what reflects confidence among high income earners.

Gas prices have been steady this month though 1-year inflation expectations are higher but only very slightly, at 5.5 percent vs 5.4 percent in July.

The Dow is moving slightly lower following this report. Next readings on consumer spirits will be Thursday with the weekly consumer comfort index and Friday with the bi-monthly consumer sentiment index, both of which have been moving lower.

Consensus Outlook
The Conference Board's consumer confidence index for July raised the question of whether the consumer has a more optimistic view of the current labor market than official statistics. There was more good news than meets the eye with the consumer confidence report where a nearly 2 point dip to 80.3 masked a strong gain in the present situation component. The assessment of the present situation, up nearly 5 points to 73.6, offers the consumer's view of month-to-month conditions. Jobs hard to get, which is a closely watched month-to-month reading on the consumer's assessment of the current jobs market, fell to 35.5 percent for a sizable 1.6 percentage point decline from June which is very good news. However, the expectations component was down 6.4 points to 84.7 in a drop that reflects lack of confidence in the outlook for the jobs market, which of course is in contrast to the current assessment. Fewer consumers see job openings rising six months from now and more see job openings contracting.

The Conference Board compiles a survey of consumer attitudes on the economy. The headline Consumer Confidence Index is based on consumers' perceptions of current business and employment conditions, as well as their expectations for six months hence regarding business conditions, employment, and income. Three thousand households across the country are surveyed each month. In general, while the level of consumer confidence is associated with consumer spending, the two do not move in tandem each and every month.  Why Investors Care
Typically retail sales will move in tandem with consumer optimism - although not necessarily each and every month.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2013 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/292/263/264/305/286/257/308/279/2410/2911/26
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