2008 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Sentiment  
Released On 2/1/2008 10:00:00 AM For Jan(f), 2008
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level80.5 79.0 75.0  to 80.5 78.4 

Highlights
Consumer sentiment dipped in January to 78.4, a mixed reading that is down from mid-month but up from December. Consumer spirits have been holding up decently given the trouble in the jobs market, not to mention the depressed housing market and volatility in the financial markets. Inflation expectations are also doing relatively well given high energy costs with the 12-month reading unchanged at 3.4 percent. Today's data confirm similar results in Tuesday's report from the Conference Board and may hold out hopes for perhaps steady results for January retail sales. But the outlook for consumer sentiment is definitely up in the air given the risk that the economy may be, or may be entering, recession.


Recent History Of This Indicator
The Reuter's/University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index reading for December firmed slightly from the preliminary reading, up 1 point to a still mild 75.5. Inflation expectations eased back 1 tenth for the one-year outlook to 3.4 percent. Five-year expectations are at 3.1 percent, unchanged from the preliminary reading but up 2 tenths compared with November. Consumer confidence data are soft, but personal spending data confirm that consumer spending is strong while inflation pressures are on the rise -- both tied to higher gas prices not necessarily to robust spirits.

Consumer sentiment Consensus Forecast for preliminary January 08: 79.0
Range: 75.0 to 80.5

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.)
 
 

2008 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/182/12/152/293/143/284/114/255/165/306/136/277/117/258/15
Release For: JanJanFebFebMarMarAprAprMayMayJunJunJulJulAug
 
Released On: 8/299/129/2610/1710/3111/1411/2612/1212/23
Release For: AugSepSepOctOctNovNovDecDec
 


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