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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Improves Slightly
by Tom Moeller  February 1, 2013

The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment for all of January rose to 73.8 (-1.6% y/y) from 72.9 in December. The figure was higher than the mid-month reading of 71.3 but still was down sharply from the November high of 82.7. The latest figure compared to consensus expectations for 71.5. 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. Last month's sentiment increase was led by a higher consumer expectations index figure of 66.6 (-3.6% y/y). The present situations reading slipped to 85.0 (+1.0% y/y). 

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)
Jan Dec Nov Jan '12 2012 2011 2010
Consumer Sentiment  73.8 72.9 82.7 75.0 76.5 67.3 71.8
 Current Economic Conditions 85.0 87.0 90.6 84.2 85.6 79.1 80.9
 Consumer Expectations 66.6 63.8 77.7 69.1 70.7 59.8 66.0
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