2011 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Sentiment  
Released On 12/9/2011 9:55:00 AM For Dec(p), 2011
 PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level64.1 66.0 63.0  to 68.0 67.7 

Consumer spirits are definitely picking up but from deeply depressed levels. The mid-month consumer sentiment index rose a strong 3.6 points to 67.7 led by a strong 5.7 point jump to 61.1 in the leading component of expectations. The gain in expectations suggests that consumers see improvement for their job prospects and for their income prospects, keys for acceleration in consumer spending.

The consumer's assessment of current conditions is also showing improvement but to a lesser degree with the component up only three tenths to a still soft level of 77.9. Inflation expectations are benign despite $100 oil which has, however, yet to inflate prices at the gas pump. One-year inflation expectations are down one tenth to 3.1 percent with five-year expectations unchanged at 2.7 percent.

Stronger improvement in the jobs market together with an easing in the volatility of the financial markets would go a long way to further improve the consumer's mood. The stock market is moving to session highs following release of this report.

Consensus Outlook
The Reuter's/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index held steady the last half of November, indicated by a full-month 64.1 composite reading that was little changed from 64.2 in the first half of the month. The current conditions component improved, up one point from mid-month to 77.6, though the expectations component, which is the composite's leading component, fell nearly one point to 55.4.

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
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)Jan(f)Feb(p)Feb(f)Mar(p)Mar(f)Apr(p)Apr(f)May(p)May(f)Jun(p)Jun(f)Jul(p)Jul(f)Aug(p)
Released On: 8/269/169/3010/1410/2811/1111/2312/912/22
Release For: Aug(f)Sep(p)Sep(f)Oct(p)Oct(f)Nov(p)Nov(f)Dec(p)Dec(f)

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