2018 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Sentiment  
Released On 3/16/2018 10:00:00 AM For Mar(p), 2018
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level99.7 98.8 97.0  to 101.5 102.0 

Consumer sentiment has been showing less strength over the last year than other confidence readings but now the report, driven especially by the assessment of current conditions, is beginning to gain momentum. The preliminary index for March jumped more than 2 points to 102.0 which is a 14-year high.

Current conditions, where strength hints at ongoing gains for both consumer spending and employment, is up nearly 8 points to 122.8 and reflects growing confidence in the lower income bracket. Expectations, which is the other component of the index, is actually down 1.4 points to 90.0 and reflects income doubts among the higher bracket.

A very important sign of strength is in inflation expectations which are up 2 tenths to 2.9 percent for the year-ahead outlook though unchanged at 2.5 percent for the 5-year outlook. Yet the year-ahead gain is an important reading and is likely to be taken notice of at next week's FOMC meeting.

Consensus Outlook
The consumer sentiment index is expected to open March at a preliminary 98.8 and down from February's 99.7. This report, which had been flat compared to other confidence reading, jumped sharply in February despite volatility in the stock market.

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 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.]

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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