2012 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Confidence 
Released On 4/24/2012 9:00:00 AM For Apr, 2012
  PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Consumer Confidence - Level70.2 68.7 69.7 66.9  to 72.5 69.2 

Highlights
Economic news in general has been softening though news has been mostly good out of the consumer sector which, with manufacturing slowing, is now leading the recovery. But for how long? Consumer confidence is flat, down three tenths to a no better than soft 69.2 in April. But there is good news led by a 3.2 percentage point decline to 37.5 percent in those who say jobs are hard to get right now. More also say business conditions are currently good while inflation expectations, reflecting the easing in gas prices, are down four tenths in the month to 5.8 percent.

Now the offsetting factors led by a sizable 1.5 percentage point decline to 14.0 percent for those who see their income rising. Readings on expectations of future income are closely watched by retailers and this reading hints at a slowing for retail sales. Also hinting at slowing sales is a sizable drop in those who expect to buy a car within the next six months.

Consumers react to the jobs market and this report, despite the improvement in jobs hard to get, suggests that the slowing seen in March payroll growth is dampening spirits. Next data on the consumer will be the consumer comfort index on Thursday morning.

Market Consensus before announcement
The Conference Board's consumer confidence index in March dipped to 70.2 from February's 71.6. Weakness was in the expectations component, which is more heavily weighted than the present situation component. Expectations fell back 5.4 points to 83.0. Here details show less optimism for the employment outlook and a little less optimism on income prospects where however optimists, at 15.8 percent, still outnumber pessimists at 14.6 percent. The present situation component rose 4.6 points to 51.0 which is the highlight of the March report.

Definition
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.

The Conference Board changed its polling company in 2010. The current polling company is Nielsen Co. with the former being TNS Inc. The switchover reference month for the new data is November 2010. Because of the change in the polling service (even though the questions in the questionnaire are the same) the data are not completely consistent and November 2010 should be considered a break in the series. 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
 
[Chart]
Typically retail sales will move in tandem with consumer optimism - although not necessarily each and every month.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
 

 

2012 Released Schedule
Released On: 1/312/283/274/245/296/267/318/289/2511/111/2712/27
Release For: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
 


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