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Consumer expectations improve

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(Read caption) This chart shows annual consumer sentiment readings over the past decade. Consumer sentiment has seriously eroded over the past few months, an indication that consumers are tightening on spending.

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Today's early release of the Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers for December indicated improvement in consumer sentiment with a reading of 67.7 but falling 9.13% below the level seen last year while one year inflation expectations declined slightly at 3.1%.

The Index of Consumer Expectations (a component of the Conference Board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators) rose to 61.1, and the Current Economic Conditions Index climbed to 77.9.

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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.