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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Improves Modestly
by Tom Moeller  August 31, 2012

The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment for August rose to 74.3 from an unrevised 72.3 in July. The figure also was up from the mid-August reading of 73.6. The latest number beat expectations for 73.8. 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. A rebound in the Current Conditions index to 88.7 from 82.7 accounted for the August rise in Consumer Sentiment. The Consumer Expectations component slipped m/m to 65.1, still 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.

Monetary Policy since the Onset of the Crisis is the title of today's speech by Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and it is available here.

 

University of Michigan
(Q1'66 = 100)
Aug Jul Jun Aug'11 2011 2010 2009
Consumer Sentiment 74.3 72.3 73.2 55.8 67.3 71.8 66.3
 Current Economic Conditions 88.7 82.7 81.5 68.5 79.1 80.9 69.6
 Consumer Expectations 65.1 65.6 67.8 47.6 59.8 66.0 64.1
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