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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Improves
by Tom Moeller  March 30, 2012

The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment for March increased to 76.2 from 75.3 in February. The figure compared to expectations for a slight dip to 75.0. An improved reading of current economic conditions led the gain in last month's sentiment that was offset by a decline in consumer expectations. During the last ten years there has been a 60% correlation between the level of sentiment and the three-month change in real personal consumption expenditures.

The Reuters/University of Michigan survey data are not seasonally adjusted. The readings are based on telephone interviews with just- over 300 households. Data are in Haver's USECON database. The expectations figure is in Haver's AS1REPNA database.

University of Michigan
(Q1'66 = 100)
Mar Mid
Feb Jan Mar
2011 2010 2009
Consumer Sentiment 76.2 74.3 75.3 75.0 12.9% 67.3 71.8 66.3
 Current Economic Conditions 86.0 84.2 83.0 84.2 4.2 79.1 80.9 69.6
 Consumer Expectations 69.8 68.0 70.3 69.1 20.6 59.8 66.0 64.1
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