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Economy in Brief

Michigan Consumer Sentiment Remained Depressed
by Tom Moeller November 21, 2007

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index for the full month of November held at the mid-month level of 75.0. That was down 7.3% from October and it pulled the average so far in 4Q 9.0% below the 3Q average. Consensus expectations for November were for stability with the mid-month reading of 75.0.

Both major sub-indexes were down sharply for the month. The current conditions index declined to 91.0 from October's 97.6, the weakest since March 2003. Expectations fell to 64.7 from 70.1 in October, the lowest reading since October 2005.

Current buying conditions compared to one year ago fell by half from where it was last year and the expected change in business conditions in the next 12 months also fell sharply. Current personal finances fell 9.0% and expectations for personal finances also fell. One-year expectations for business conditions fell but expectations for the next five years improved slightly from October's depressed level.

Expectations for inflation during the next twelve months jumped to 4.3% from 3.7% in October. The 2006 expectations were for 3.9% inflation this year. For the next five to ten years expectations were for a 3.4% rise in prices, equal to the expectation logged last year.

The University of Michigan survey is not seasonally adjusted.The reading is based on telephone interviews with about 500 households at month-end; the mid-month results are based on about 300 interviews. The summary indexes are in Haver's USECON database, with details in the proprietary UMSCA database.

The minutes of the latest Federal Open Market Committee Meeting can be found here.

University of Michigan Nov ( Final) Nov (Prelim) Oct Nov  y/y 2006 2005 2004
Consumer Sentiment 75.0 75.0 80.9 -18.6% 87.3 88.5 95.2
   Current Conditions 91.0 91.0 97.6 -14.2% 105.1 105.9 105.6
   Expectations 64.7 64.7 70.1 -22.2% 75.9 77.4 88.5
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