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Consumer confidence improves

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(Read caption) This chart shows the annual change in the University of Michigan's "consumer sentiment" index since 2000. So far, consumer confidence has improved in January 2012.

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Yesterday's early release of the Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers for January indicated improvement in consumer sentiment with a reading of 74.0 and falling just 0.27% below the level seen last year while one year inflation expectations rose slightly to 3.2%.

The Index of Consumer Expectations (a component of the Conference Board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators) rose to 68.4, and the Current Economic Conditions Index climbed to 82.6.

It's important to recognize that consumer sentiment has seriously eroded over the past few months with the current results remaining near levels not seen since 1980, a major indication that consumers are in the process of tightening even further on spending.


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