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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Revisits July low
by Tom Moeller  April 12, 2013

The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment for mid-April fell sharply m/m to 72.3 from 78.6 in March. The latest reading matched the low this past July. It was the lowest since December 2011 and compared to the consensus forecast for stability at 78.5. 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 9.3% decline (-11.2% y/y) in the consumer expectations reading to 64.2. The present situations reading also fell a hard 6.5% to 84.8, but that still was up 2.3% 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.

University of Michigan (Q1'66 = 100) Mid-Apr  Mar Feb Apr '12 2012 2011 2010
Consumer Sentiment 72.3 78.6 77.6 76.4 76.5 67.3 71.8
 Current Economic Conditions 84.8 90.7 89.0 82.9 85.6 79.1 80.9
 Consumer Expectations 64.2 70.8 70.2 72.3 70.7 59.8 66.0
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