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Economy in Brief

Michigan Consumer Sentiment Slips M/M But Improves Sharply From Recession Low
by Tom MoellerApril 30,2010

The University of Michigan reported that its index of consumer sentiment for the full month of April slipped from March to 72.2. That was, however, improved from the mid-month reading of 69.5 and was up considerably from the low late in 2008. The figure was slightly higher than Consensus expectations. The index reached a high of 74.4 this past January. During the last ten years there has been a 90% correlation between the level of sentiment and the y/y change in real consumer spending.

The index of expected economic conditions fell 2.1% m/m (18.6% y/y) and was down for the third straight month. Expectations for business conditions during the next five years (-4.9% y/y) as well as expectations for personal finances both fell (-6.9% y/y). Expected business conditions during the next year (+48.1 y/y) improved.

Sentiment about current economic conditions also fell moderately (+18.6% y/y) from March. The assessment of current personal finances (8.6% y/y) fell moderately and buying conditions for large household goods, including furniture, refrigerators, stoves & televisions (25.7% y/y), also fell after an unchanged March reading.

Expected price inflation during the next year increased to 3.8% and was up from the December 2008 reading of 1.7%.Respondents' view of government policy, which may eventually influence economic expectations, fell m/m and was down 32.4% from its high last May. Thirteen percent of respondents thought that a good job was being done by government versus 40% who thought a poor job was being done, a twelve-month high.

University of Michigan April Mid-April March  February April y/y 2009 2008 2007
Consumer Sentiment 72.2 69.5 73.6 73.6 10.9% 66.3 63.8 85.6
  Current Conditions 81.0 80.7 82.4 81.8 18.6 69.6 73.7 101.2
  Expectations 66.5 62.3 67.9 68.4 5.4 64.1 57.3 75.6
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