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Title: Consumer Sentiment Jumps to Highest Level in Four Months
Source: CNBC
URL Source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/49031918
Published: Sep 14, 2012
Author: Reuters
Post Date: 2012-09-14 10:36:15 by Brian S
Keywords: None
Views: 1043
Comments: 1

U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly rose in early September to its highest level in four months as Americans were more upbeat about their economic and job prospects, a survey showed on Friday.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary September consumer sentiment index rose to 79.2 from 74.3 in August. That topped expectations for a decline to 74.0, according to a Reuters poll.

The gauge of consumer expectations climbed to 73.4 from 65.1, though the barometer of current economic conditions nudged down to 88.3 from 88.7. Both the sentiment and expectations measures were at their highest level since May.

Just 12 percent of those surveyed expected the unemployment rate to rise, down sharply from the 25 percent that anticipated an increase in August's survey. This month's proportion was the lowest recorded since 1966.

Favorable long-term prospects for the economy were seen by 42 percent of consumers, the highest level in five years and up from 32 percent last month.

But the improved optimism was likely a temporary bounce after the recent presidential candidate conventions, the report cautioned.

"The sooner it is tempered, the less economic damage will be incurred due to failed expectations," survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement.

Consumers also felt better about their personal finances, with 37 percent reporting a worsening financial situation, down from 40 percent as Americans continued to whittle down their debt.

While rising food and gasoline prices remained a concern, the one-year inflation expectation eased to 3.5 percent from 3.6 percent. The five-to-10-year inflation outlook also pulled back to 2.8 percent from 3.0 percent.

Business Inventories Jump

In a separate economic gauge, U.S. business inventories posted their largest gain in six months in July, boosted by an increase in automobile stocks, according to a government report that could be a lift to third-quarter economic growth.

The Commerce Department said on Friday inventories increased 0.8 percent to a record $1.59 trillion, after edging up 0.1 percent in June. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast inventories rising only 0.3 percent in July.

Inventories in July were lifted by a 2.7 percent jump in stocks at auto dealers as sales recovered modestly after slipping the previous month. Auto inventories had increased 2.2 percent in June.

Inventories are a key component of gross domestic product changes. Inventories, excluding autos — which go into the calculation of gross domestic product — rose 0.5 percent after nudging up 0.1 percent in June.

Business inventories were a drag on second-quarter gross domestic product growth and July's better-than-expected increase could be a good sign for growth this quarter.

Business sales rebounded 0.9 percent to $1.24 trillion in July after falling 1.2 percent the prior month. July's sales increase was the largest since December.

At July's sales pace, it would take 1.28 months for businesses to clear shelves, down slightly from 1.29 months in June. Subscribe to *Elections 2012*

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#1. To: Brian S (#0)

U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly rose in early September to its highest level in four months as Americans were more upbeat about their economic and job prospects

I was at Staples yesterday. The copy center lady asked how my business was doing. I told her I expect it to pick up after Romney Kicks Obama's ass. There was another lady standing there too. I told here that she was a woman and supposed to hate Romney. She said no that she "loves Romney". We both expected things to get better once the trashy family is removed from the WHITE HOUSE.

Once he is gone you will see a boom in the economy. Even it it is short lived. Just the thought of your messiah out of the WHITE HOUSE is enough for this economy to pick up steam.

A K A Stone  posted on  2012-09-14   10:40:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

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