2018 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Sentiment  
Released On 3/29/2018 10:00:00 AM For Mar(f), 2018
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level102.0 102.0 101.0  to 102.0 101.4 

Consumer sentiment held strong the last two weeks of the month as the final March index came in at a 14-year high of 101.4 vs 102.0 in the mid-month reading and well up from 99.7 in February.

The current conditions component closed the month at a record 121.2 for a 6.3 point monthly gain which points to strength for March consumer spending. The gain here is tied to rising confidence among lower income respondents in contrast to the expectations component which, at 88.8 and a 1.2 point loss, is being held back by easing confidence among higher income respondents. The report notes that the risk of rising interest rates, tied to Fed policy, is a negative factor for the high-end group.

Inflation expectations, much like the core PCE index released earlier today, are moving up but very slowly, 1 tenth higher for the year-ahead outlook to 2.8 percent with the 5-year outlook unchanged at 2.5 percent.

This report took much longer to get going than other measures of consumer confidence making its positive signal for March, especially for current conditions, a new positive in the indicator mix.

Consensus Outlook
Consensus for the final March reading of the consumer sentiment index is 102.0 which would be unchanged from the month's preliminary reading. General confidence among lower income respondents helped drive gains in the preliminary report where strength was centered in the current conditions component, offsetting a decline in expectations which were pulled lower by emerging income doubts among higher income respondents. Inflation expectations were a highlight of the preliminary report, rising 2 tenths for the year-ahead outlook to a 4-year high of 2.9 percent.

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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