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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Continues To Strengthen
by Tom Moeller  March 01, 2013

The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment in February rose to 77.6 (3.1% y/y) from 73.8 in January. The mid-February reading was 76.3. Despite the gain, the figure remained down versus the November high of 82.7 and compared to consensus expectations for 76.5. 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 of 70.2 (-0.1% y/y). The present situations reading also rose to 89.0 (7.2% 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.

Comments on Monetary Policy and "Too Big to Fail" (With a Tribute to Irving Kristol) from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is available here.

University of Michigan (Q1'66 = 100) Feb Jan Dec Feb '12 2012 2011 2010
Consumer Sentiment 77.6  73.8 72.9 75.3 76.5 67.3 71.8
 Current Economic Conditions 89.0 85.0 87.0 83.0 85.6 79.1 80.9
 Consumer Expectations 70.2 66.6 63.8 70.3 70.7 59.8 66.0
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