2013 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Sentiment
Released On 2/1/2013 9:55:00 AM For Jan, 2013
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level71.3 71.5 70.7  to 75.9 73.8 

Highlights
Consumer sentiment has really picked up the last two weeks, at 73.8 for the final January reading vs 71.3 at mid-month. The reading implies that sentiment is a bit over 75 right now which is off from the low 80s in October and November but is otherwise back in trend.

Current conditions are little changed from mid-month at 85.0 with the improvement centered in expectations, at 66.6 for the final reading vs 62.7 at mid-month. This reading conflicts with the consumer confidence report posted on Tuesday where income expectations were being depressed by the paycheck tax hike.

Gas prices are on the rise but the effect on the consumer so far is limited. One-year inflation expectations slipped back one tenth to 3.3 percent, though this is one tenth higher than December. Five-year expectations are holding steady at 2.9 percent.

Readings on the consumer right now are mixed but today's report suggests any dip was brief, that consumer spirits may already be bouncing back. Today's report should be yet another positive for the day's session.

Recent History Of This Indicator
The Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index mid-month reading of 71.3 was down 1.6 points from the full month reading for December and compares with a low 70s trend during the latter part of December. Expectations continued to slip, down 1.1 points to 62.7 which was the lowest reading for this component since the aftermath of the debt-ceiling battle in 2011. Current conditions, which had been holding up better than expectations, showed noticeable weakness, falling 3.7 points in December and another 2.2 points so far this month to 84.8.

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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