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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Rose Throughout December
by Tom Moeller December 23, 2004

The University of Michigan's reading of consumer sentiment for the full month of December rose to 97.1, up 4.6% from November. Consensus expectations had expected 95.7.

During the last ten years there has been a 75% correlation between the level of consumer sentiment and the y/y change in real PCE.

Consumers' reading of current economic conditions rose 1.9% m/m but consumer expectations jumped 6.7%.

Sentiment amongst families earning less than $50,000 per year surged 9.5% m/m (5.3% y/y. Consumer sentiment amongst families earning more than $50,000 per year fell slightly m/m but rose 2.0% y/y.

The University of Michigan survey is not seasonally adjusted.The mid-month survey is based on telephone interviews with 250 households nationwide on personal finances and business and buying conditions. The survey is expanded to a total of 500 interviews at month end.

"Consumer Sentiment and the Media" from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco can be found here.

University of Michigan Dec Mid-Dec Nov Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Consumer Sentiment 97.1 95.7 92.8 4.9% 95.2 87.6 89.6
   Current Conditions 106.7 106.3 104.7 10.0% 105.6 97.2 97.5
   Consumer Expectations 90.0 88.8 85.2 1.2% 88.5 81.4 84.6
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