2008 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Sentiment  
Released On 4/11/2008 10:00:00 AM For Apr(p), 2008
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level69.5 68.0 66.0  to 70.0 63.2 

Consumer confidence is sinking while consumer expectations for inflation are rising, in what is the latest bad news on the economy. The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell to 63.2 for its mid-month reading vs. 69.5 in March. The 63.2 level is the weakest since the recessions and inflation of the early 80s. Among the two components, current conditions, at 78.4, is the weakest since the early 80s while expectations, at 53.4, is the weakest since the recession of the early 90s.

If this isn't bad enough inflation expectations are heating up with the one-year reading at 4.8 percent, up 5 tenths since the last report only two weeks ago, and at 3.1 percent for the five-year reading for a gain of 2 tenths. Consumers' sense of inflation is centered at the gas pump and grocery store where prices are rising.

Stocks dipped in reaction to the report with other markets holding steady. The Federal Reserve is scrambling hard to hold up economic growth and is having to look the other way on inflation. But this report, like this morning's import price report, are making for very unpleasant reading at the Fed.

Consensus Outlook
The Reuter's/University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index held mostly steady in March but a weakening labor market and rising gasoline prices could weigh on confidence in April. The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment report showed only incremental weakness in March, slipping 1.3 points from February to 69.5 in March. Some good news that may only be temporary was a downtick in inflation expectations. One-year inflation expectations slipped 2 tenths to a less elevated 4.3 percent with 5-year expectations unchanged at 2.9 percent.

Consumer sentiment Consensus Forecast for preliminary April 08: 68.0
Range: 66.0 to 70.0

The University of Michigan's Consumer Survey Center questions 600 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.)

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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