Saturday, February 13, 2010

University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey

From Bloomberg...

Consumer sentiment edged back in the mid-February reading, down 7 tenths to 73.7 and failing to extend mild momentum that appeared in late January. The assessment of current conditions actually rose in the period but was offset by a dip in expectations which is the leading component for the report. The expectations index, at 66.9, is back to where it was in November. One-year inflation expectations edged back slightly to 2.7 percent. It's simple enough: Weakness in the jobs market will continue to contain consumer spirits. The news isn't helping the markets which are sinking in reaction to continued bank tightening in China.

Consumer sentiment is mainly affected by inflation and employment conditions. However, consumers are also impacted by current events such as bear & bull markets, geopolitical events such as war and terrorist attacks. Investors monitor consumer sentiment because it tends to have an impact on consumer spending over the long run (although not necessarily on a monthly basis.)