2018 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Sentiment  
Released On 8/31/2018 10:00:00 AM For Aug(f), 2018
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Sentiment Index - Level95.3 95.5 94.0  to 96.0 96.2 

Pressures for inflation expectations are the hidden headlines in today's consumer sentiment report where the index ends August at 96.2, just above Econoday's top estimate but still soft compared to July's 97.9. Note that acceleration from the mid-month reading of 95.3 roughly hints at a low 97 pace over the last two weeks.

The downpull is coming from the current condition component which fell 4.1 points in the month to 110.3 for the lowest reading since November 2016. This will not raise expectations for acceleration in August consumer spending. The component for expectations is 2 tenths lower this month to 87.1.

Inflation expectations are on the rise with the year-ahead outlook up 1 tenth to 3.0 percent and the 5-year outlook up 2 tenths to 2.6 percent. The gains, however, follow downticks in July and return these readings to their June levels. Still these readings are at 4-year highs and are certain to attract the attention of Jerome Powell who focused on the need to keep inflation expectations stable in his Jackson Hole comments last week .

This report is telling a different story than Tuesday's consumer confidence data that showed sharp acceleration in part on optimism over jobs and income. Yet the consumer sentiment report is also showing such optimism which the text of the report is warning typically precedes a downturn for the economy. Regarding the rise in inflation expectations, the report attributes it less to tariff concerns and more to expectations for robust economic growth.

Consensus Outlook
Expected to edge slightly higher from the preliminary score of 95.3, Econoday's consensus for the final consumer sentiment index for August is 95.5. The preliminary report was the softest since September last year and included a sharp downshift in buying plans tied to rising prices for cars and household durables.

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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