Friday, September 30, 2011

September Consumer Sentiment increases to 59.4, Chicago PMI fairly strong

by Calculated Risk on 9/30/2011 09:55:00 AM

• First on the Chicago PMI Chicago Business Barometer™ Rebounded: The overall index increased to 60.4 from 56.5 in August. This was above consensus expectations of 55.4. Note: any number above 50 shows expansion. The employment index increased to 60.6 from 52.1. "EMPLOYMENT expanded to highest level in 4 months". The new orders index increased to 65.3 from 56.9. "NEW ORDERS erased net declines accumulated since April"

• The final September Reuters / University of Michigan consumer sentiment index increased to 59.4 from 55.7 in August.

Consumer Sentiment
Click on graph for larger image in graphic gallery.

In general consumer sentiment is a coincident indicator and is usually impacted by employment (and the unemployment rate) and gasoline prices. In August, sentiment was probably negatively impacted by the debt ceiling debate.

Note: It usually takes 2 to 4 months to bounce back from an event driven decline in sentiment (if the August decline was event driven) - and any bounce back from the debt ceiling debate would be to an already weak reading.

This was still very weak, but above the consensus forecast of 57.8.