Consumer Sentiment Higher, Still at Recession Levels

The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index moved a bit higher in the first of two readings for the month, up from 72.3 in July to 73.6 in August, the increase driven by Americans’ assessment of current condition, this index rising from 82.7 to 87.6. The expectations component fell from 65.6 to 64.5 as the year-end political/fiscal debate comes into sharper focus.

Inflation expectations are again on the rise as the one-year outlook rose from 3.0 percent to 3.6 percent and the five-year view has prices rising at a 3.0 percent rate, up from 2.7 percent last month. Of course, all of this adds to the case for higher stock prices as shown above, a nearly unstoppable U.S. equity market finding a reason to rise in almost any news lately.

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