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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Improves Again
by Tom Moeller  February 15, 2013

The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment in mid-February rose to 76.3 (1.3% y/y) from 73.8 in January. The figure remained down versus the November high of 82.7 and 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 figure reflected a higher consumer expectations index number of 68.7 (-2.3% y/y). The present situations reading also rose to 88.0 (6.0% 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.

U.S. Monetary Policy: Easier Than You Think It Is from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis can be found here.

University of Michigan (Q1'66 = 100) Mid-Feb Jan Dec Feb '12 2012 2011 2010
Consumer Sentiment 76.3  73.8 72.9 75.3 76.5 67.3 71.8
 Current Economic Conditions 88.0 85.0 87.0 83.0 85.6 79.1 80.9
 Consumer Expectations 68.7 66.6 63.8 70.3 70.7 59.8 66.0
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