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Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Disappoints
by Tom Moeller March 16, 2012

The University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment for mid-March fell to 74.3 from 75.3 in February. The figure compared to expectations for improvement to 76.0. A decline in consumer expectations led this month's weakness with a decline to 68.0 but that still was up 17.4% y/y. Consumers' reading of current conditions rose to 84.2 and recovered all of its February drop. 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.

The Reuters/University of Michigan survey data are not seasonally adjusted. The readings are based on telephone interviews with just- over 300 households. Data are in Haver's USECON database. The expectations figure is in Haver's AS1REPNA database.

University of Michigan
(Q1'66 = 100)
Mid-Mar Feb Jan Mar Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
Consumer Sentiment 74.3 75.3 75.0 10.1% 67.3 71.8 66.3
 Current Economic Conditions 84.2 83.0 84.2 2.1 79.1 80.9 69.6
 Consumer Expectations 68.0 70.3 69.1 17.4 59.8 66.0 64.1
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