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Consumer Sentiment  
Released On 12/7/2018 10:00:00 AM For Dec(p), 2018
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level97.5 97.4 93.0  to 98.2 97.5 

Though the headline index at 97.5 is unchanged, December's consumer sentiment report offers a favorable hint for holiday shopping. The current conditions component is up a solid 2.9 points to 115.2 which points to rising spirits going into the meat of the Christmas shopping season. The offset is the expectations component which is down 2.0 points to 86.1 on what the report says reflects negative news on future job prospects.

Inflation expectations are subdued in today's report and won't be raising any pressure for extended rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. Year-ahead expectations slipped 1 tenth to 2.7 percent with 5-year expectations down 2 tenths to 2.4 percent.

Future expectations are always important but, for retailers during the holidays, are less important than the immediate strength of current sentiment.

Consensus Outlook
At a consensus 97.4, the consumer sentiment index is expected to hold steady in the preliminary reading for December. November's final reading was 97.5 with the month's preliminary reading at 98.3.

The University of Michigan's Consumer Survey Center questions 600 households each month on their financial conditions and attitudes about the economy. Consumer sentiment is directly related to the strength of consumer spending. Consumer confidence and consumer sentiment are two ways of talking about consumer attitudes. Among economic reports, consumer sentiment refers to the Michigan survey while consumer confidence refers to The Conference Board's survey. Preliminary estimates for a month are released at mid-month. Final estimates for a month are released near the end of the month.  Why Investors Care
Consumer sentiment is mainly affected by employment conditions but bear-or-bull markets can also have an impact as well as national and global events. Sentiment is watched as a long- run barometer for consumer spending.

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/192/22/163/23/163/294/134/275/115/256/156/297/137/278/17
Release For: JanJanFebFebMarMarAprAprMayMayJunJunJulJulAug
Released On: 8/319/149/2810/1210/2611/911/2112/712/21
Release For: AugSepSepOctOctNovNovDecDec

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