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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Falls Unexpectedly - Again
by Carol Stone  September 13, 2013

The reading from the Reuters/University of Michigan survey of consumer sentiment during mid-September fell sharply to 76.8 (-1.9% y/y) from an 82.1 final reading for August. Consensus expectations had been for near stability at 82.0.

This latest downdraft in overall sentiment reflected declines in both of the major component series. The mid-September reading of current economic conditions fell to 91.8 (+7.1% y/y) from 95.2 in August. More striking is the drop in consumer expectations, to 67.2 (-8.6% y/y) from 73.7 in August. These latest results are dismaying in the wake of notable rebounds between the mid-August and final August readings, which were clearly not sustained. This latest expectations number is the lowest since January, although such steep one-month changes as the 6.5 points this time are hardly unprecedented.

The Reuters/University of Michigan survey data are not seasonally adjusted. The final monthly readings are based on telephone interviews with at least 500 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.

Reuters/University of Michigan (Q1'66 = 100) Mid-Sep Aug Jul Sep 2012 2012 2011 2010
Consumer Sentiment 76.8 82.1 85.1 74.3 76.5 67.3 71.8
 Current Economic Conditions 91.8 95.2 98.6 88.7 85.6 79.1 80.9
 Consumer Expectations 67.2 73.7 76.5 65.1 70.7 59.8 66.0
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