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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Stabilizes
by Tom Moeller  August 17, 2012

The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment for mid-August improved to 73.6 from an unrevised 72.3 in July. The latest figure beat expectations for stability at 72.5. Nevertheless, the reading remained well below those earlier this year. During the last ten years there has been a 61% correlation between the level of sentiment and the three-month change in real personal consumption expenditures. A rebound in the current conditions index to 87.6 from 82.7 provided the lift to this month's overall figure. The consumer expectations component fell to 64.5, its lowest since December.

The Reuters/University of Michigan survey data are not seasonally adjusted. The readings are based on telephone interviews with over 300 households. Data can be found in Haver's USECON database. The expectations figure is from Action Economics and is found in Haver's AS1REPNA database.

University of Michigan
(Q1'66 = 100)
Aug Jul Jun Aug'11 2011 2010 2009
Consumer Sentiment 73.6 72.3 73.2 55.8 67.3 71.8 66.3
 Current Economic Conditions 87.6 82.7 81.5 68.5 79.1 80.9 69.6
 Consumer Expectations 64.5 65.6 67.8 47.6 59.8 66.0 64.1
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