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Economy in Brief

Consumer Sentiment Improves To Recovery High
by Tom Moeller  May 17, 2013

Consumers are feeling much better about economic conditions. The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment for mid-May jumped 9.6% (5.5% y/y) to 83.7, the highest level since July 2007. It compared to the consensus forecast for 77.2. During the last ten years, there has been a 60% correlation between the level of sentiment and the three-month change in real personal consumption expenditures.

This month's reading of current economic conditions gained 8.5% (11.8% y/y) to 97.5, the highest figure since October 2007. Last month's consumer expectations figure increased 10.3% (0.7% y/y) to 74.8.

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.

Prospects for a Stronger Recovery is the title of Fed Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin's speech and it is available here.

University of Michigan (Q1'66 = 100) May Apr Mar May'12 2012 2011 2010
Consumer Sentiment 83.7 76.4 78.6 79.3 76.5 67.3 71.8
 Current Economic Conditions 97.5 89.9 90.7 87.2 85.6 79.1 80.9
 Consumer Expectations 74.8 67.8 70.8 74.3 70.7 59.8 66.0
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