2014 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Sentiment  
Released On 3/14/2014 9:55:00 AM For Mar(p), 2014
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level81.6 81.8 80.5  to 83.0 79.9 

Consumer sentiment is dipping this month but not the assessment of current conditions. The composite index is down 1.7 points at mid-month to a lower-than-expected 79.9, but the current conditions component is actually higher, up 7 tenths to 96.1 to indicate comparative strength vs February.

The weakness is in the expectations component, a more abstract reading that is down 3.3 points to 69.4. It would be speculative to wonder what's behind this dip; slow growth in the jobs market is a likely factor but perhaps the building conflict in Ukraine is also a factor.

Gas prices are on a sharp climb so far this month but they have yet to affect inflation expectations which are unchanged from month-end February, at 3.2 percent for the 1-year outlook and at 2.9 percent for the 5-year outlook.

The Dow is edging slightly off opening highs following this report, one however that may be more positive than negative.

Consensus Outlook
The Reuter's/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index has held steady through this winter's heavy weather. The composite index for February was 81.6, little changed from the 81.2 readings for both mid-month February and final January. The current conditions component, which offers an indication on monthly consumer activity, was slightly lower, at 95.4 versus January's 96.8. The expectations component was slightly higher, at 72.7 for February vs 71.2 for January.

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.)

2014 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/171/312/142/283/143/284/114/255/165/306/136/277/188/18/15
Release For: JanJanFebFebMarMarAprAprMayMayJunJunJulJulAug
Released On: 8/299/129/2610/1710/3111/1411/2612/1212/23
Release For: AugSepSepOctOctNovNovDecDec

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