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Friday, November 11, 2011

Consumer Sentiment increases in November

by Calculated Risk on 11/11/2011 09:55:00 AM

The preliminary November Reuters / University of Michigan consumer sentiment index increased to 64.2, up from the October reading of 60.9, and up from 55.7 in August.

Consumer Sentiment
Click on graph for larger image.

Consumer sentiment is usually impacted by employment (and the unemployment rate) and gasoline prices.

Gasoline prices have declined about 50 cents per gallon from the highs in early May, but prices are still well above the levels of early this year. And the unemployment rate is also very high at 9.0%. Both negatives for sentiment.

In addition, sentiment was probably negatively impacted by the debt ceiling debate in August. Back in August I looked at event driven declines in consumer sentiment. If this decline was "event driven", then we should have seen little impact on consumption (looks correct) and a bounce back fairly quickly, but only to the already low levels of June and July. It looks like we are seeing some bounce back.

However sentiment is still very weak, although above the consensus forecast of 61.5.