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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Becomes More Depressed
by Tom Moeller  January 18, 2013

The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment for mid-January deteriorated to 71.3 (-4.9% y/y) from an already depressed and unrevised 72.9 in December. The latest figure fell short of Consensus expectations for improvement to 74.0. 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. Both of the index's major components fell last month. The index measuring sentiment regarding current economic conditions fell to 84.8 (+0.7% y/y) and was down just moderately for the last two months. The consumer expectations index fell to 62.7 (-9.3% y/y), down for the third straight month. 

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 can be found in Haver's AS1REPNA database.

Persistent Uncertainty for Economic Policymakers from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is available here.

University of Michigan
(Q1'66 = 100)
Mid-Jan Dec Nov Jan '12 2012 2011 2010
Consumer Sentiment  71.3 72.9 82.7 75.0 76.5 67.3 71.8
 Current Economic Conditions 84.8 87.0 90.6 84.2 85.6 79.1 80.9
 Consumer Expectations 62.7 63.8 77.7 69.1 70.7 59.8 66.0
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