2011 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Sentiment 
Released On 1/14/2011 9:55:00 AM For Jan(p), 2011
  PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level74.5 75.0 74.0  to 77.5 72.7 

Highlights
Economic activity is generally solid and accelerating, a contrast to the consumer's assessment of conditions which appears to be deteriorating. Last month's consumer confidence report from the Conference Board showed what proved to be a telling decline in the assessment of the jobs market. Today's data, the bi-monthly consumer sentiment report from Reuters and the University of Michigan, shows a sizable decline in the current conditions component to 79.8 from December's 85.3. The reading is the lowest since October and again belies hard evidence of resilience in consumer spending and solid strength in many sectors of the economy.

One area where there's very little strength is the jobs sector, the consumer's Achilles heel. The overall consumer sentiment index slipped nearly two points to 72.7 with the expectations component actually rising seven tenths to 68.2. Other readings include a big three tenths jump in one-year inflation expectations to 3.3 percent, a gain reflecting rising gasoline and food prices and which contrasts with very little inflation outside of energy and food.

Today's retail sales report showed a bit of slowing for several key areas including general merchandise. Stubborn weakness, and perhaps increasing weakness, in consumer psychology points to further slowing for retail sales and in turn further trouble for the jobs market.

Recent History Of This Indicator
The Reuter's/University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index improved in December to 74.5, up three tenths from November. Details showed mild and extending improvement for the six-month outlook, a leading component that is still less improved than the assessment of current conditions.

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.)
 

 

2011 Released Schedule
Released On: 1/141/282/112/253/113/254/154/295/135/276/177/17/157/298/12
Release For: Jan(p)JanFeb(p)FebMar(p)MarApr(p)AprMay(p)MayJun(p)JunJul(p)JulAug(p)
 
Released On: 8/269/169/3010/1410/2811/1111/2312/912/22
Release For: AugSep(p)SepOct(p)OctNov(p)NovDec(p)Dec
 


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