2012 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Confidence  
Released On 8/28/2012 9:00:00 AM For Aug, 2012
 PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Consumer Confidence - Level65.9 65.4 65.8 63.0  to 68.0 60.6 

Consumer confidence is as weak as it's been since last year's government debt crisis and ratings downgrade. The Conference Board's headline composite index is down roughly 5 points this month to a 60.6 level. This is more than 5 points below the Econoday consensus and a confirmation of last week's similarly weak reading in the Bloomberg consumer comfort index.

Weakness in today's report is centered in the assessment of future conditions where components make up 60 percent of the composite index. The three components all show deterioration especially in the degree of pessimism on future business conditions, employment, and income. Pessimism for these readings, particularly income, poses an early warning for retailers as they prepare for the holiday shopping season.

One relative positive in the report is stability in the assessment of current conditions, which points to stable monthly readings for August economic data including jobs data. Those saying jobs are currently hard to get actually eased slightly to 40.7 percent which is just a little bit better than it's been since April. This reading hints at a stable level of payroll growth and perhaps no further deterioration for the August unemployment rate.

Rising gas prices and the prospect ahead of rising food prices are definitely negative factors for confidence. And consumers are sensitive to this with inflation expectations rising a sharp 5 tenths to 5.9 percent. The Dow is moving to opening lows following today's report.

Consensus Outlook
The Conference Board's consumer confidence index in July rose 3.2 points to 65.9. June was revised 7 tenths higher to 62.7. Job readings were central in this report and showed no significant change with more than 40 percent still describing jobs as hard to get. A bit more did see more jobs openings over the next six months but still pessimists are in the lead on this reading.

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. 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
Typically retail sales will move in tandem with consumer optimism - although not necessarily each and every month.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2012 Released Schedule
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