2008 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Sentiment  
Released On 12/12/2008 10:00:00 AM For Dec(p), 2008
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level55.3 55.0 52.0  to 58.0 59.1 

Highlights
Consumer sentiment bounced higher during the first part of December -- but only from record low levels. Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index rose to 59.1 vs. 55.3 in November. The rise, surprisingly, is being driven by a gain in the assessment of current conditions where the sub-component jumped to 69.4 v. 57.5. This belies the run of company news that has been laced with layoffs and where conditions are being described as abysmal. Still, the consumer might be seeing something businesses aren't. Let's hope so.

Inflation expectations are really coming down in what may now become a concern should they turn negative, which may encourage deflation expectations in spending -- that is, deferring purchases until prices come down which is the last thing retailers need right now. Inflation expectations 1-year out fell 1.2 percentage points to 1.7 percent with 5-year expectations down 2 tenths to 2.7 percent. Stocks firmed from lows in immediate but understandably limited reaction to the results.

Recent History Of This Indicator
The Reuter's/University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index fell in November to a reading of 55.3 from 58.4 in October. Concern over the job market is overwhelming the positive effects of lower gasoline prices. With the labor market continuing to worsen, consumer sentiment is likely to remain low.

Consumer sentiment Consensus Forecast for preliminary December 08: 55.0
Range: 52.0 to 58.0

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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